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Kaua‘i United Way honors two for length of service

WAIPOULI — Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami described Kaua‘i United Way Acting Director Lori Almarza as a “ropemaker” — someone who takes the many fibers making up a rope and binds them tightly together.

He further expounded that Kaua‘i United Way is the rope (lifeline) to those who need help, and elaborated on the assistance Kaua‘i United Way offers through its umbrella of partner nonprofit community assistance agencies.

Almarza and KUW board member Carol Furtado earned accolades for their length of service to the Kaua‘i United Way, including Almarza’s 30 years and Furtado’s 35 years. They were honored on Thursday, April 6, 2023, when the Kaua‘i United Way convened its annual meeting and mahalo celebration at the Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort.

Tim Takeshita, chair of the 2022 campaign, said faced with a $600,000 goal — the Kaua‘i United Way and its network of community sponsors and special events, including the charity tennis at the Po‘ipu Kai tennis courts, Amazon Smiles and the Paypal Giving Fund — donors helped achieve 94 percent of that goal, with $566,146 collected.

This is due to the contributions from the top contributing companies, including Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative, the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort &Spa, Enterprise Holdings LLC, King Auto Center, the County of Kaua‘i, the state of Hawai‘i, Kukui‘ula Development Company Hawai‘i, Corteva Agriscience, Wilcox Health System, Costco Wholesale, Lawa‘i Beach Resort, Hawai‘i Gas Company, First Hawaiian Bank, the Royal Sonesta Kaua‘i Resort Lihu‘e and Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club.

The top three per-capita employee groups are King Auto Center, Koga Engineering &Construction and Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative.

KUW Board President Nicholas Courson also welcomed four new members, including Matthew Duncan, Terri Kaniho, Samking Braima and Tiffany Hull to the board, whose terms expire in 2026. The continuing board members include Beth Amaro, Maureen Tabura, Coty “Buffy” Trugillo, James Sone, Tim Takeshita and Ron Wiley, who emceed the celebration.

Clifton Arruda was the recipient of the Founders Award, his greatest achievement being paying off the mortgage so more funds will be freed up to help others through the Partner Agency network.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 ordfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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