Party With A Purpose
Rotary Club of Poipu Beach (RCPB) will host its annual fundraiser, “One Fine Evening,” March 11, where guests can browse and purchase work by celebrated local artists Patrick Ching, Wendi Magaoay, Debbie Barklow, Marionette Taboniar and Jan Ekleberry while sipping wine, indulging in tasty pupu and enjoying the music of Hui Na Holoholo and Rumba de Fuego — all for a good cause.
The event, set for 5:30 p.m. at Kilohana Luau Pavilion in Lihue, funds scholarships and other RCPB services on island.
“This is a fun event, but it’s a fundraiser to support our mission,” says Christopher Young, RCPB’s president.
That mission encompasses six focus areas of Rotary International, including education and literacy. “The youth of Kauai deserve more than they’re getting right now. They need more investment,” says Young. “The DOE can’t do it all on its own, so the community really needs to step up and help.”
The club often donates money to schools, including Koloa Elementary, to support activities like the arts and after-school programs. In fact, RCPB has adopted 20 South Shore school classrooms, as well as five after-school clubs, in partnership with Aloha Angels. Kalaheo and Eleele elementary schools also receive RCPB support, and it provides scholarships for students in higher education, such as Kauai Community College’s culinary arts and nursing scholars.
“Education is a cure-all, and it’s something I get excited about and try to focus on,” says Young.
Supporting Kauai students of all ages, including teachers-in-training affiliated with Growing Our Own Teachers, is a significant goal of RCPB.
“Teachers are underappreciated,” says Mike Curtis, who joined the club only six months after its inception in 1982. “Any help we can give them, we’d like to.”
The club’s more than 35 members from various professional backgrounds also award grants to other service organizations, including Junior Achievement Kauai, which focuses on financial literacy, career success and entrepreneurship for youths, and Boys & Girls Club of Kauai.
Beyond that, RCPB extends its services internationally — even though all proceeds from “One Fine Evening” will be used locally — and supports causes such as PolioPlus.
“We’re trying to eliminate polio in this century and we’re almost there,” says Rotarian Jan Pascua.
It also connects to not only the other four Rotary clubs on island, but more than 35,000 groups across the globe. “You are instant friends,” says Pascua, who has been a member for 14 years.
Rotarians on Kauai often team up on projects.
“We don’t look just in our backyards; we’re trying to be cognizant of all the island’s needs,” says Young. “And I’ve always been impressed with the fellow Rotarians on the island being wonderful people — kind and generous, the kind of people that I want to hang out with.”
Camaraderie, in fact, is something Ted Faigle finds most rewarding about being a member of RCPB.
“We can do more together rather than working as individuals,” he says.
And they’re always looking for new recruits. RCPB meets every Wednesday at 7:15 a.m. at La Spezia in Koloa. Gleaning new ideas from members and putting things into motion are its keys to success.
“We have the structure and framework to put into action ideas that we come up with or that are proposed to us,” says Curtis.
“We can put stuff together that take the government even years to think about; we can get it done next week if somebody comes up with a good idea.”
Tickets for “One Fine Evening” cost $60 in advance and $70 at the door. Participating restaurants this year include Gaylord’s, Courtyard by Marriott, Sushi Bushido, Eating House 1849, Kukui’s on Kalapaki Beach, Merriman’s Fish House, Red Salt, Hukilau Lanai, Oasis on the Beach and Lava Lava Beach Club. The featured artists will be selling their work and a portion of the proceeds will go to RCPB.
For tickets and more information, visit onefineevening.org.