LIHU‘E — The North Shore Lions Club raised $50,000 at their annual golf tournament in January, which will be distributed to 33 students in need, and on Wednesday, Mayor Derek Kawakami presented a certificate with $4,000 to the top four students at the County Rotunda in Lihu‘e.
Mayor Derek Kawakami opened the ceremony, reminiscing about the teachings his mother gave him when he was a Leo.
“If my mom was here she would say, ‘The right thing oftentimes is to really lead by example,’” Kawakami said. “And their actions speak louder than their words. I want to thank you (lions) for investing in our future. I want to thank the generous sponsors. All of this wouldn’t have been possible if you didn’t have somebody that believes in our future.”
Olena Molina, mother of two keiki, went back to school after 10 years. She will be attending the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa this fall to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
“This is my third year receiving this award,” Molina said. “And I just so appreciative. I really wouldn’t be able to go to school if it wasn’t for all of the donors. All of their donations actually helped alleviate some of the stress without having to go to work while being in school full-time.”
Mikalea Brede just graduated from Kamehameha High School at Kapalama campus and she will be attending Kaua‘i Community College this fall. She wants to develop and run her own business on Kaua‘i.
“To receive a scholarship today feels really good,” Brede said. ” It means I can get my degree in business, mahalo.”
Lion Stuart Cain said 14 out of 33 recipients are still in Hawai‘i. Most will attend UH at Manoa or KCC and the other 19 are on the mainland.
Taelee Kimura is one of the mainland students returning for her senior year at New York University. She currently works two jobs in New York to support her education. She is grateful to receive this scholarship because she has goals that include going on to graduate school and becoming a therapist back on Kaua‘i.
“I wanted something really different from Hawaii, something a lot more fast-paced and exciting,” Kimura said. “And I found that there. There’s always something to do. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of really cool people. I’m happy to hear about this scholarship program. I’m from the North Shore. And I always grew up going into pancake breakfasts that they did.”
Kirra Lindman is in her sophomore year at the University of California, Berkeley. She is studying architecture, focusing on sustainability because she wants to be a “change-maker” in affordable housing while learning how to advocate for important causes.
“I’m just so so grateful,” Lindman said. “It just makes me so delighted to be here with all these great lions.”
The North Shore lions have staged this tournament for over 18 years and all proceeds go to scholarships for advanced education after high school for students living on the North Shore.
“Lions Club just likes to give back to the community and what a better way than the youth and education and getting back to what we do here,” lion Stuart Cain said.”
Lion Jerry Moore agreed with Cain and shared his thoughts on why they do this event every year.
“Just like it sounds, it’s for the kids staying here in Hawai‘i — we love to help the community,” Moore said. “So we work hard. We plan this tournament for six months, and we’ve given a lot of scholarships out and a lot of the kids really want to be here. So they get to school, and they stay here. And that’s what we want.”
For the last seven years, North Shore Lions Club has held this fundraiser golf tournament at the Princeville Makai Golf Course with Aloha Roofing Supply as their Title Sponsor.
Normally, the lions would meet their goal of $40,000. However, this year they raised a record-setting amount of $50,000 from the tournament and large Donations from Aloha Roofing Supply, the Steve and Janine Hunt Foundation, and the Miranda Group.
Lion Cain said they could only host the top four recipients since they were limited to a small group with the Mayor’s office. He is hoping to have an event later this summer to honor all of the scholarship recipients.
Source: The Garden Island