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Employees donate supplies to benefit Lahaina schools

By Staff | Aug 19, 2010

Employees arrive at King Kamehameha III Elementary School with boxes of supplies.

LAHAINA — The 234 employees of Old Lahaina Luau, Aloha Mixed Plate and Star Noodle (collectively OAS) scored 100 percent in the 2010 school supply drive benefiting the students and teachers at King Kamehameha III Elementary School, Princess Nahienaena Elementary School and Lahaina Intermediate School.

Lahaina Intermediate School Principal Marsha Nakamura was impressed by their generosity.

“I am so appreciative of the Old Lahaina Luau’s continuous support we receive every year. Talk about our community taking ownership of our youth! The employees are the ones who actually donated these supplies. The economy is in bad shape, yet these individuals keep giving. What can I say?  There is so much aloha we feel for Old Lahaina Luau and their employees. Mahalo! IMUA!”

King Kamehameha III Elementary School Parent Community Networking Center Facilitator Claire Tillman was equally enthusiastic.

“A huge mahalo goes out to the management and employees of Old Lahaina Luau, Aloha Mixed Plate and Star Noodle for their incredibly generous donation of school supplies to King Kamehameha III Elementary School… Our West Side community is truly No Ka ‘Oi,” she said.

Lori Koyama is the Student Activities Coordinator at Lahaina Intermediate School. She was prolific in her description of the bounty and its distribution.

“We received a huge amount of paper towels, reams of paper, pencils, three-pronged folders and composition books,” she explained.

“The paper towels were distributed to all teachers for use in their classrooms, with the extra rolls going to the science classes since they do labs.  

“Reams of paper were also distributed to the classrooms, so that teachers can utilize them in their classrooms with their students. The rest of the paper went into the copiers for worksheets, quizzes, tests, etc., that teachers print for their classes,” she continued.

“The pencils, folders and composition books were given to the counselors, so that they can distribute it to students in need.  

“An announcement was made to the students that if anyone is experiencing financial difficulties, they can go see their counselor for school supplies. The teachers were also informed to send any student they feel may need assistance to the counselors for supplies.”

In addition, gift cards were given to teachers.

“It has helped teachers offset some of the costs that they may normally purchase with their own money…” Koyama added.

In fact, according to OAS Director of Employee and Community Relations Julie Yoneyama, in total, there were 387 each of boxes of pencils, reams of paper and rolls of paper towels donated plus 1,935 composition books and 1,935 portfolios contributed

“Every single employee donated something, whether it was school supplies or money,” Yoneyama noted.

“I called the three schools and asked them what were the top supplies keiki and teachers needed,” Yoneyama explained.

“With those lists in mind,” she continued, “we decided to concentrate on five supplies — pencils, reams of copy paper, paper towels, composition books and three-pronged portfolios. We created our own in-house ‘school kit’ — one box pencils, one ream of copy paper, one roll of individually wrapped paper towels, five composition books and five folders. Each department’s goal was to bring in one kit per employee in their department.”

Audrey Kaneshiro is a longtime Old Lahaina Luau employee.

“The three schools we donated supplies to have an average of 35 to 40 percent of students that are on the student lunch program, and these are the students that are unable to afford school supplies. The administrative staff from each school expressed sincere gratitude for the supplies we donated, as this allows them to fulfill the needs of students that are less fortunate,” Kaneshiro commented.

Kaneshiro described the reasoning behind the OAS sense of brotherhood.

“We as individuals and as a company would not thrive if we did not participate and give back to our community. In my 20 years with the Old Lahaina Luau, it has been this core value that has given us so many opportunities to help organizations island wide and beyond,” she said.

“It is our mission to share this vision with every employee that is a part of our ‘ohana, to help them understand the value of giving back,” she said.

Michael Moore is one of the company’s founding partners.

“Every day we are overwhelmed by the spirit and generosity of our employees. This year we had 100 percent participation in the school supply drive.

“We are truly blessed,” he said, “to be working with people who understand our vision of community engagement.”