WAILUA — The Kaua‘i Filipino Chamber of Commerce is ready for the Year of the Rabbit by welcoming approximately 70 guests to its annual Awards and Installation Gala on Saturday at the Hilton Garden Inn Kaua‘i Wailua Bay.
“The theme of the evening was Chinese New Year, Year of the Rabbit,” said Cyndi Ayonon, incoming KFCC president.
“I had the tables decorated with red and gold, had fortune cookies and Chinese candies scattered around the floral arrangement that Kaleo Carvalho put together. Gold bank figurines of cats and gold lotus trees and lanterns accented the tables,” she said.
Joining Ayonon as the KFCC leadership team are Kaeo Bradford as vice president, Jett Jasper as treasurer, Mary Jane “MJ” Akuna as secretary, Leonard Villanueva as assistant treasurer and Rose Ramos Benzel as assistant scretary.
The KFCC leaders include Randall Francisco, immediate past president, and newly elected members Georgeatte Galicinao and Leonard Villanueva, and directors Angel Acorda, Derrick Adams, Nannie Apalla, Bobby Ayonon, Crystal Caday-Bargayo, Rebecca Carnate, Rose Iloreta, Morgan Lopez, Muriah Moises, Cristeta Owan and Marites Yano.
The group was installed by Judge Gregory Meyers.
A malasada bar was especially enjoyed by Akuna and Edie Ignacio Neumiller, said Cyndi Ayonon.
Following the presentation of last year’s scholarship recipients, the golf tournament that made the scholarships possible and other meetings, including a legislative update and Hawai‘i State Chamber of Commerce update with Sherry McNamara, the HSCC president, the KFCC launched its scholarship applications program, with a $1,000 contribution to the Kaua‘i Community College culinary arts program in honor of former KFCC board member Jonathan Fabian.
The accomplishments and achievements of the KFCC would not have happened without the tremendous help of its outstanding members, said Cyndi Ayonon.
These include Akuna being named Officer of the Year for her dedication to her secretarial duties, Cristeta Owan as Corporate Member of the Year for her dedication to compiling the finances, and Sonia and Eddie Topenio as Volunteers of the Year for their leadership on the scholarship golf tournament held Labor Day weekend.
“All of these outstanding awardees contributed a great amount of time to making this organization a success,” said Cyndi Ayonon.
Following a presentation by guest speaker Beth Amaro of the Kaua‘i Utility Cooperative on the organization’s various energy programs and reliability, and the KIUC position of leading the state with 70 percent renewables, Cyndi Ayonon said the KFCC plans to partner and network with existing nonprofits in the community that share similar missions, and support their respective events as well.
For those interested in joining or helping with the Kaua‘i Filipino Chamber of Commerce, visit kauaifilipinochamber.org.
Source: The Garden Island