• Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise, New Chamber Member

    November 13, 2023
    New Member - Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise

    Rotary is where neighbors, friends, and problem-solvers share ideas, join leaders, and take action to create lasting change. We have club activities, social events, and volunteer projects that offer networking opportunities that build personal and professional connections while at the same time serving the community. And Rotarians can extend those networks by visiting other clubs around the globe.

    The Rotary Club of Kona was chartered as West Hawaii's first Rotary Club on February 7, 1948, through the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Hilo. The Rotary Club of Kona was the eighth club to be formed within District 5000 (then District 500) in the State of Hawaii.

    When first chartered, the Club's territorial boundaries extended 50 miles in three directions from Kailua-Kona, and bordered the Pacific Ocean on its West side. Subsequently, with the addition of two more Rotary clubs in West Hawaii, the Kona Club's area now is limited to North Kona and the northern part of South Kona.

    In the Kona Club's early days its 30-35 members were largely ranchers and agri-­businessmen, reflecting the predominately agricultural/ranching economy of West Hawaiiat that time. Meetings were on Thursday evenings. As the membership prospered and became more diversified the weekly Club meetings were moved to a luncheon format and we have grown to 50+ members. We presently meet at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel.

    Throughout its 54-year history, the Rotary Club ofKona has been active in community, international and youth activities. Here is a brief historical list of the many programs the Club has sponsored or is currently sponsoring: An Explorer Scout Post in Holualoa for over 20 years (during which it produced 24 Eagle Scouts, including U.S. Astronaut Ellison Onizuka). The Kai Opua Canoe Club with over 200 youth and adult paddlers in the '70's and '80s. The KonawaenaSea Cadet Program in the '80s. A community-wide campaign to fund equipment for KonaHospital's new Chemotherapy Room in 1987. Numerous student scholarships. A Small Fry Fishing Derby. The combined Rotary Club of Mauka Kona and Kona Konawaena High School Interact Club (twice named the State's Interact Club of. the Year). An original "Career Net" student service. An annual Christmas Party for needy youngsters of our community. Adopting GingongCity elementary school in the Philippines (including funding for an electric sewing. machine and PA system, which led to electrifying the remote 10,000 person village. Establishing several "sister" Rotary Clubs. Our Club also co-sponsors Kona's Annual Independence Day Parade and Community Christmas Parade.

    The Club regularly assists with such annual activities as: The International Billfish Tournament, the Ironman Triathlon, Keauhou-Kona Marathon, SuperKids Tournament, Kona Family Day, Community A-Fair, Meet 'N Eat Feeding Program, Konawaena Career Day, Community clean-up days, The Salvation Army's Christmas Bell-Ringing, Rotary District Youth Conferences/Seminars, and Rotary Group Study Exchange programs; and is the lead volunteer group for Kona's Annual MasterCard Championship Golf Tournament. Further , it has provided financial assistance to such local organizations as Boy Scouts, Big Brothers/Sisters, Girl Scouts, Hospice of Kona, Kona Adult Day Care Center, Kona Family YMCA, Kona Library, Kona Literacy Council, Kona Outdoor Circle, Sea Scouts, Little League, public schools, The Salvation Army's Kona Corps, University of the Nations, West Hawaii Crime Stoppers, West Hawaii Youth Soccer, and other local, State and international human service groups.  Since 2009, the Kona Rotary Club has sponsored and organized, in cooperation with Denny's Restaurant, Project Compassion, which provides a much appreciated fundraising opportunity to community non-profit organizations.
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