Beginning its 96th year on July 1, the Rotary Club of Hilo welcomed five new members at a recent Friday noon meeting.  This club, a part of Rotary International, follows the main purposes of Rotary: 1; to improve communities locally and around the world;  2. to encourage high ethical standards in business and the professions; and 3.  to advance international understanding and peace.  Rotary is made up of local business, professional and civic leaders who meet regularly, get to know each other, form friendships and though that, get things done in our community and in the world.

"As we approach our 100th anniversary in 2020, we would like to build our membership to 100," said the Club's President Randy Hart. "100 members to celebrate 100 years of service to our local community and the world," said Hart.

Jen Tanouye, a retired office manager has been involved in many local events and non-profits in the Hilo area.  She is looking forward to the club's many service projects on tap for the year.

Jeremiah Leonard, the president of Sun Construction, Inc. also joined Rotary to assist with community projects and believes that it is important to help our many area concerns.

Malcolm K.L. Chun brings a background of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) outreach to the club and is currently advancing his studies at the Hawaii Community College.  He hopes to participate with youth, vocational service foundations and club service.

Dustin J. Acdal is the club's first Corporate Associate member from Lex Brodie's Tire and Service Company.  He brings his media experience to the club and wants to help youth and participate in the club's community service projects.

Anita Tatum, Marketing Director, carries the full membership for Lex Brodies.  She has been a major helper at the club's Brewfest for many years and intends to continue helping where she can.

"We're glad to welcome such high energy members to our growing club," said Hart. "Each brings skills we need to benefit our community and the world," concluded Hart.

If you are interested in visiting our club on a Friday at noon at the Hilo Hawaiian, please log on to our website: and leave a message on the CONTACT US page.

Caption:  Five new members of the Rotary Club of Hilo were inducted at a recent club meeting.  (l-r) Jen Tanouye, Jeremiah Leonard, Malcolm K.L. Chun, Dustin J. Acdal and Anita Tatum. All are planning to assist the club's many service projects.

Four area Rotary Clubs, along with friends and family members gathered together with students from Waiakea High Interact Club on a misty morning in the Shipman Business Park to help BISAC (Big Island Substance Abuse Council).
Since 1964, BISAC has been inspiring individuals and families to reclaim and enrich their lives in the wake of the ravages of substance abuse. They offer a continuum of services that are culturally appropriate and aligned with the ever-changing behavioral health field. One of the more visual and exciting projects is a 3 acre site that is being developed to teach participants about growing food while helping them learn marketable job skills.  Food grown in the garden will become part of a culinary project that includes selling off of a BISAC Food Truck, "Big Island Fusion".
The garden, however, was in need of gravel spreading and garden bed painting.  The Rotary Club of South Hilo led the coordination of other area clubs including The Rotary Club of Hilo, The Rotary Club of Hilo Bay and The Rotary Club of Volcano, assembling more than 50 hardworking Rotarians and family.  Sweating in the sun and enjoying the passing misty rain, this group of volunteers moved 60 tons of gravel onto walking areas and helped to paint the garden infrastructure.
"We are especially proud of our 'labyrinth' at this location," said Dr. Hannah Preston-Pita, CEO of BISAC.  "Unlike a maze, our labyrinth is a circular path that individuals can easily walk to the center. Along the way, 25 signs with short messages allow for contemplation and inspiration as the person walks the path.  Our adults and adolescent participants particularly enjoy this feature," said Preston-Pita.
"Our East Hawaii Rotary Clubs were honored to be able to support BISAC and its Therapeutic Garden through our All Rotarian Work Day.   The mission and work of BISAC aligns so well with the values of Rotary and the turn out today was awesome.  It is a blessing to us knowing that we had a small part in the development of this special place,"  said Randy Kurohara, Community Projects Chair for South Hilo Club.
Learn more about BISAC at

Officer Van Reyes of the Hawaii County Police Dept. accepting the backpacks
For the second year, The Rotary Club of Hilo purchased new backpacks for keiki at women's shelters, homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities around the Big Island. This year, the Club was able to obtain 84 backpacks ranging in styles from small, star-studded Kindergarten sizes to rugged camo patterned packs for older students.
The Police Department promotes an annual backpack drive, offering all Police Stations as drop-off points for donations.  The collected backpacks are then delivered to HOPE Services Hawai'i (formerly known as the Office of Social Ministry) for distribution to area keiki.
"Backpacks have been identified as the most requested non-food item for charities in Hawaii," said the Hope Services website.  This is the eighth year that this worthwhile project has been gathering and distributing backpacks to deserving children.
"Once we heard about the need," said Reese Mates, Rotary Club of Hilo's Community Service Chairperson, "we jumped right on the bandwagon.  Thanks go out to Mike Meyers, one of our members, for bringing the project to us," concluded Mates.
The Rotary Club of Hilo, celebrating its 96th Anniversary this year, meets nearly every Friday at noon at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.  Anyone interested in more information about Rotary in general and this club in particular should click on CONTACT US to leave a message.

Thank you to our Breweries, Restaurants, Sponsors, 150+ Volunteers and YOU!

The Rotary Club of Hilo had it's new installation of officers. It's the beginning of a new year and another year of service to the community. (Pictured: Past Year President Wally Wong and Current Year President Randy Hart)

What a great year for the Rotary Club of Hilo. In the Large Club Division we Took First Place for International Service and Public Image and First Runner Up in Youth Service.


Malama Honua
celebrating Our 95th Anniversary

The Hilo Rotary Club Foundation presents a donation to Pwo Navigator and Captain of the Polynesian Voyaging Canoe, Hokule'a, to help fund their educational programs on their Malama Honua worldwide voyage.  (Left to right:  Bruce Blankenfeld, Donald Demuth of the Hilo Rotary Club Foundation, and Club President, Wally Wong)

Edmund Olson is recognized with The Rotary Club of Hilo's Malama Honua award for his efforts in caring for our aina.
     “Malama Honua” (to care for our earth) is the theme that we have chosen to celebrate our club's 95th anniversary.  Along with Rotary International's theme -- “Be a Gift to the World” -- we are inspired as we start this new Rotary year.
     President Wally Wong has sought out community service projects that will build a more sustainable community.  Projects such as building a vegetable garden for residents of a shelter to clearing illegally dumped trash in a vacant cul-de-sac area in Hilo.  We hope to be an example to other organizations and the community, that in order to stop and smell the flowers, we have to occasionally bend down to pull the weeds or pick up the trash.
     These are just a few of the many projects that the Rotary Club of Hilo has planned as it follows the Polynesian Voyaging canoe, Hokule’a, on its Malama Honua sail around the world.  On its worldwide voyage, the Hokule’a will grow and join the global movement towards a more sustainable world.
     Two individuals who embody the principles of Malama Honua were honored at our Officer Installation:  Bruce Blankenfeld, Pwo navigator and Captain of the Hokule’a for his leadership and efforts to educate our youth and  Edmund C. Olson of the Edmund C. Olson Trust II for providing agricultural opportunities and building a sustainable future for Hawaii Island.

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Service Above Self - Since 1920

We meet Fridays at 12:00 PM
Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
71 Banyan Drive
Moku'ola Room (Lower Level, oceanfront)
Hilo, HI  96720
United States
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October 2016
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