Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset Honors Three with “Service to Community Award”

The Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset honored three members of the community with their “Service to Community Award.” In addition to the awards, the recipients were presented certificates from Rep. Joy San Buenaventura (Puna) and the Hawaii House of Representatives for their hard work and dedication.

The awardees are:

  • Catherine Ford, who wakes up at 4:30 am to look for the Pahoa homeless and find out what their needs are. Catherine visits those who are hospitalized and for those that don’t have transportation, she drives them to acquire their checks, food and medication.  She has become an advocate for those who normally have none.
Lyndon Johnson was honored.

Lyndon Honda was honored.

  •  Chef Lyndon Honda, whose passion for cuisine, food culture and compassion for others inspired him to organize various food events to benefit victims of Hurricane Iselle and the June 27 lava flow.  Chef Lyndon rallied various chefs from Maui and the Big Island to donate their skill, time and money so that 100% of the monies raised went to Puna Farmers and those affected by Iselle and the lava flow.  This unheard of percentage going to victims shows Chef Honda’s ability to organize and rally those whose compassion are like his on short notice.
  • Kalani Honua, which organization spent approximately eighty-nine thousand dollars of their own money to provide food, ice, and water to the people of Puna who were affected by Hurricane Iselle and who were without power and refrigeration.  Kalani Honua showcases lower Puna to the rest of the world as a sustainable healthy agricultural Hawaiian community and has been featured multiple times in Yoga Journal and is a vital and important contributor to the community of the lower Puna region.

The Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset, chartered on April 1, 2009, meets Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m. at The Historic Akebono Theatre in Pahoa, Puna Hawaii.

At an earlier town hall meeting, Representative San Buenaventura also honored Rene Siracusa, who has dedicated a life of volunteer service to Puna and its residents.

Ms. Siracusa is involved in a number of community organizations including the Puna Outdoor Circle, Big Island Rainforest Action Group, Puna Friends of the Parks, Puna Malama Pono, and Malama O Puna, which have all made positive environmental impacts to Puna.  Ms. Siracusa helped with the grant writing to secure funding for the Puna Community Medical Center’s Urgent Care Clinic and currently sits as the Chair of the Board of Directors.

Her participation as part of the Coqui Frog Working Group initially controlled the coqui frog at Lava Tree State Park in Nanawale and continues to educate the residents of Puna on the importance of bringing the invasive species under control.  She has served on various boards and committees such as the “Ka’ohe Homesteads Community & Farm Watch”, Hawai’i County Planning Commission, Healing Our Island Grant Review Committee, and was Chair of the Hawai‘i County Redistricting Commission (2011).

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