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.

A ShelterBox Response team of volunteers started delivering aid 2 days after the devastating cyclone. 90% of structures have been wiped out and almost 200,000 Fijians are homeless. The Rotary Club of Hilo is asking fellow Rotary clubs to help now by donating monies to ShelterBox USA. 
2,000 more ShelterBoxes have been requested. This donation will give families in Fiji a ShelterBox filled with lifesaving supplies including a tent that can withstand 120mph winds, water purification for 3 years, light, stove, dishes, blankets, kids pack, mosquito netting and tools for rebuilding. More information on what is in each ShelterBox can be found at
Each ShelterBox costs $1,000 which includes contents, shipping and delivery. Whatever your club can donate will go towards Fiji. The Rotary Club of Hilo has raised $30,000, which could give 30 families shelter, warmth and dignity. How many families can your club help?
To DONATE BY MAIL: Please include District 5000/ Fiji on check memo
Please send your check or money order to:
ShelterBox USA 
8374 Market Street #203
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
(Credit card donations can be made at
Link to the latest update from ShelterBox:
ShelterBox is a partner of Rotary International, was created by a Rotarian & most volunteers are Rotarians.


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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August 2016
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