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Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset awards academic scholarship

By Staff | Jul 7, 2016

The Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset presents Sophia Jorgensen with the club’s first Go Green Scholarship Award. Also pictured are President Melissa Fort (left) and former Youth Service Director Nancy Montoya, who chaired the Scholarship Committee.

LAHAINA – The Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset awarded its inaugural Go Green academic scholarship to Sophia Jorgensen on June 21 during its weekly club meeting. Sophia received $2,500 toward earning a degree in environmental science. She will attend Connecticut College in the fall.

Selected from a competitive field of applicants, Sophia’s academic achievements at Seabury Hall as well as her volunteer work and leadership skills earned her the award.

“Sophia is one in a million! She exemplifies one of our Rotary ‘nuggets of leadership’ qualities that we teach students during our annual Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards), which is: Leadership is ACTION not elected position,” said Joanne Laird, Lahaina Sunset Rotary’s director of youth service.

“She is a positive role model for all of us.”

The scholarship is funded through the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset’s annual “Go For the Green” St. Patrick’s Day event. It demonstrates the club’s commitment to environmental initiatives and to the long-term educational goals of local students.

Jen Cox (second from right), community relations specialist for Malama Maui Nui, receives a funding check for Third Saturday Recycling from the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset members (from left) Jim Fahnestock, Sandy Schneider and Liz May.

“Thanks to the community’s generous support of our St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser, we are able to assist Sophia with her environmental studies,” said Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset President Melissa Fort.

“We are excited to follow her future academic achievements and look forward to another successful fundraiser in March 2017 that will enable us to help more local students and the environment.”

To qualify for the $2,500 scholarship, the student had to be a graduating senior who lives in West Maui, Lanai or Molokai and attends a Maui, Lanai or Molokai high school. The student had to demonstrate superior academic abilities, involvement in school activities and a winning character profile, and must be pursuing a field of study that will benefit the environment.

In related news, the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset’s “Go Green Third Saturday” recycling project ended a successful first year in June, proving that committed community partnerships and dedicated volunteers can make a difference.

A monthly partnership of Malama Maui Nui, Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset, County of Maui, 5A Rent-A-Space and Lahaina Cannery Mall, the program had 1,828 resident and visitor drop-offs during its first year, July 2015 through June 2016.

Close to 700 appliances, nearly 73,000 pounds of scrap metal, over 1,800 pieces of E-waste and more than 27,000 pounds of recyclable materials – including paper, plastic, glass and aluminum – were collected.

“The Lahaina Sunset Rotary has been such an amazing partner and a demonstration of community stewardship at its finest,” said Gabrielle Schuerger, deputy director, Malama Maui Nui.

“We are looking forward to another fantastic year full of positive waste management and conservation initiatives, and we thank the members of Lahaina Sunset Rotary for making Third Saturday Recycling so successful!”

The project, which will be in place through June 2017, was awarded funding by the County Council with strong support from Councilwoman Elle Cochran and Council Chair Mike White.

Malama Maui Nui and the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset will remain to run the event, which will continue to be held in the parking lot of Lahaina Cannery Mall on the third Saturday of every month.

“We are so grateful to the Maui County Council for recognizing the importance of recycling and to our community partners Malama Maui Nui, Lahaina Cannery Mall and 5A Rent-A-Space for their support,” said Fort.

“Our dedicated volunteers and club members make this event possible, and we are excited to begin another year of helping to keep our island clean.”

The next “Go Green Third Saturday Recycling” event will be held on July 16 with new hours, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Lahaina Cannery Mall.

Recyclables that qualify for drop-off are: appliances, bicycles, cameras, cardboard, cell phones, computers, gaming consoles, HI-5 cans and bottles, push lawnmowers, magazines, microwaves, newspaper, plastics 1 and 2, printers, scrap metal, televisions and video cameras. No oversize tires are accepted. There is a $5 charge for each regular-sized tire. All other items are accepted without charge. No fees are paid to residents for recyclables delivered to the event.

Rotary is a leadership organization made up of local business, professional and civic leaders. Clubs hold regular meetings where members are able to form friendships and participate in activities that serve their communities.

For more information on the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset, contact President Fort at melissa@melissafort.com.