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Kihei Elementary collaborates with Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset on ‘Pennies for Polio’ drive

By Staff | Oct 13, 2016

Kihei Student Council members display their posters and collection jars for the first community service project, “Pennies for Polio.” Pictured are (from left): bottom row — LyricAnn AhPuck, Jhanessty Bautista and Ava Tuquero-Parrott; top row — Quincee Yadao, Cliana Yago and Caleb Chargualef.

LAHAINA – The revitalized Kihei Student Council consisting of 38 representatives from 19 third, fourth and fifth grade classes has joined forces with the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset for their first community service project. Led by staff members Alaina Valite, Michelle Bonilla and Joanne Laird, the students were introduced to Rotary International’s “End Polio Now Campaign.”

Council members made 60 posters for all classrooms and provided collection jars that were delivered to each classroom teacher on Friday, Sept. 30.

A fact sheet on the “End Polio Now/Pennies for Polio” Campaign was shared with all teachers, so that they could encourage their classes to contribute coins and currency for this month-long effort.

At the end of October, members of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset will collect and count all contributions.

There will be three class winners, one for each recess period (K-1, 2-3, and 4-5) announced. The three winning classes will receive a Jamba Juice party from the Rotary club members during their recess.

Collected funds will be sent to Rotary International’s “End Polio Now” campaign and will be matched 3-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The council members were surprised to learn that polio is a disease that killed and crippled many children in the 20th century.

Upon learning about this effort, all council members were eager to take part in the project to help Rotary end this disease in the world.

According to Student Council Adviser Laird, “This project is an example of one of the first principles of serving as a leader: leadership is action, not selected position.”

In related news, on Tuesday, Oct. 18, Maureen Maurer, the director of Assistance Dogs of Hawaii, will speak at the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset’s evening meeting.

Maurer will discuss the different types of assistance dogs and the growing number of ways that these dogs help people with disabilities and other special needs. She will also share the latest research in the field of medical scent detection, where dogs are trained to detect life-threatening medical conditions.

Maurer cofounded Assistance Dogs of Hawaii with her husband, Will, in 2000 and has over 20 years of experience training guide dogs. She has presented at conferences around the world, speaking about her innovative training methods and the potential that dogs have to help people in need.

The Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset’s community speaker series takes place during club meetings, which are held on the first, third and fifth Tuesday of the month at the Royal Ocean Terrace Restaurant, Royal Lahaina Resort, Kaanapali, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend.