Making a Difference in Hawai'i

Hawai'i Rotary District 5000

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President's Visit


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By Barry Villamil, President-Elect, Rotary Club of Pearlridge

The Rotary Club of Pearlridge (RCOP) made their final Dictionary 5000, Good Citizen Award presentation of the 2023-2024 school year on Friday, June 7, 2024, at St. Elizabeth School in Aiea, Hawaii. Good Citizen Awards were presented to thirty-one outstanding third graders from fifteen public and private schools in Aiea and Pearl City during their end of school year awards assemblies.  One boy and one girl from each school received a Good Citizen Award congratulatory letter and a $50.00 check from RCOP presenters.

By Barry Villamil

President-Elect, Rotary Club of Pearlridge

Member, Mana Loa Nimitz Lions Club

I would like to send my heartfelt appreciation to fellow Mana Loa Nimitz Lions Club community volunteers who came together Saturday morning to clean and beautify the Puuloa Springs Native Hawaiian Garden in Pearl City. The Puuloa Springs Native Hawaiian Garden is located along the Pearl Harbor Bike Path and historic, blessed Pearl Harbor shoreline that stretches (heading West) from around Blaisdell Park and towards the Hawaiian Electric Waiau Power Plant. 

In the wake of the devastating Maui wildfires on August 8, 2023, Hawai‘i’s Rotary District 5000 has once again proven its dedication to community service and disaster recovery. With a legacy spanning over a century, the district, which comprises 53 clubs and more than 1,500 members across the Hawaiian Islands, has mobilized to make a substantial impact through the Maui Fires Relief Fund – through the Hawai‘i Rotary District 5000 Foundation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit).

The spirit of community and commitment to global health initiatives were vibrantly displayed as Kihei Elementary School's Student Council and Dolphin Ambassadors EarlyAct Group partnered with the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset for their fifth annual “Pennies for Polio” fundraising drive. This impactful campaign, led by school staff member Esther Byun and Rotary member Joanne Laird, supports Rotary International’s “End Polio Now Campaign.”

(Continue Reading)

We are excited to announce the District Spring Training Assembly, a dynamic event designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in your Rotary roles and make a lasting impact in our communities. This year's assembly will be conducted via Zoom on two consecutive Saturdays: April 6th and April 13th, from 9:00 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.

The Maui Rotary Clubs are honored to host Rotary International President, Gordon R McInally and his wife Heather.  Join us for a presentation by Mr. McInally plus hear of the fire recovery programs/projects the various Rotary Clubs are invloved with.  There will be a buffet dinner and music by Multi Grammy Winner George Kahumoku Jr as well as music by The Kanikapila Project .  This is the ukulele project funded the by the Rotary providing ukuleles and instruction to fire survivor students.

Get your tickets by April 10!

In a momentous occasion for Hawaii Rotary District 5000, Rotary International President Gordon McInally, accompanied by his esteemed wife, Heather McInally, will be embarking on a special visit during the week of April 15, 2024. As the leader of over 46,000 Rotary clubs worldwide, President McInally's visit holds immense significance, offering Rotarians in the Hawaii district a rare opportunity to engage directly with the global figurehead of Rotary International.

On 8 March, 2024, Rotary International is hosting a 60-minute panel discussion as a way to celebrate and recognize International Women’s Day, and we would love for you to join us!  

The discussion will focus on the importance of not only including but being a champion of women in leadership — in the workplace and beyond. We will discuss the importance of identifying leaders early, establishing mentorship and sponsorship programs, supporting women in joining women-led professional organizations, and focusing on allyship. We’ll also announce and celebrate the recipient of the 2023-24 Sylvia Whitlock Leadership Award.  

This event is open to Rotary members and members of the public of all genders. Feel free to share with your networks. 


🌟 Join us for a fun and meaningful event hosted by Eco Rotary Club of Kaka'ako ! 🌟

📅 Genki Ball Making Fund-raiser
🕘 Saturday, March 16, 2024, from 9am to noon
📍 Waikiki-Kapahulu Public Library, Honolulu, Hawaii
🙋 Everyone is welcome!
💰 Suggested Donation: $50 (Higher level sponsorship available, contact

Mark your calendars for a morning of community, creativity, and giving back! Let's come together to make Genki Balls and support a great cause. See you there! 🌺 #Rotary #CommunityEvent #Fundraiser #Honolulu #GenkiBallMaking

Past District Governor Sandy Matsui's presentation at the Zone Institute Peer-to-Peer Session in San Diego, November 9, 2023, showcased the transformative power of Rotary International's Empowering Girls Initiative. This initiative, a legacy from RI President Shekhar Mehta and actively promoted by Immediate Past President Jennifer Jones and President Gordon McInally, focuses on enhancing girls' safety, health, education, and well-being. Highlighting Rotary's commitment to basic human rights, the presentation covered the evolving role of the initiative, available resources for clubs, and actionable steps for deeper involvement.

Contact PDG Sandy Matsui to schedule a time for your club to experience this presentation.

For clubs inspired to support this cause, PDG Sandy Matsui is available to share insights and strategies on mobilizing resources and implementing projects that empower girls and women in their communities. Her presentation underscores the significant impact Rotary clubs can make by focusing on health, education, safety, and economic development, aiming to transform the lives of girls to become agents of positive change in their communities.

Rotarians are encouraged to invite PDG Sandy to club meetings for a deeper dive into empowering girls and to explore Rotary International's resources on this vital initiative. This call to action is not just about raising awareness but also about inspiring action that aligns with Rotary's areas of focus and avenues of service, creating lasting change in communities around the world.

Aloha, Again!

Aloha from the Rotary Club of Wahiawa-Wailua.

Here is our December 15th, ARC Hawaii-Wahiawa Facility Al Wonder Christmas Party! Have a great day and a very Blessed and Merry Christmas!

Table of Contents

  • December is Rotary International Disease Prevention and Treatment Month!
  • The ARC Al Wonder Christmas Party
  • Around the Club in Photos

Why should you go to the International Convention?  You will experience the excitement when you are surrounded by the global grandeur of it all. You get ‘Chicken Skin’ while seeing the country flags paraded at the opening ceremony.  You feel Rotary’s breadth when you are among thousands of others living up to Service Above Self. You will see fellow people of action fill an arena around you, and you might hear a dozen languages while walking around the House of Friendship. Hear from inspiring speakers and meet potential friends with the same conviction for service! 

Amidst Maui's wildfire aftermath, Rotary District 5000 secured a $24,000 grant to aid Pu`uhonua o Nene shelter. Operated by Project Vision, it houses 150 wildfire survivors. Grant funds provided drinkable water containers and a powered golf cart for mobility. Rotary's commitment continues with plans for additional structures.

On November 2nd, The Lahaina News featured a story from the October 27th check presentation to Pu'uhonua O Nene Shelter on Maui.

Start the new year by supporting a great a cause with the Rotaract E-Club Ohana (RECO) on Saturday, January 6 at Sports Box at Dole Cannery.

Through the unwavering spirit of Aloha and heartfelt donations from around the world, the Hawai’i Rotary District 5000 Foundation’s Maui Fires Relief Fund has garnered an incredible outpouring of support. Three Maui Rotary clubs collaborated to provide funds from this effort to support the Keiki Health and Wellness Fair held at Whaler’s Village on Saturday October 28, 2023.

As we count down the days to 'World Polio Day,' I find myself reflecting on the monumental efforts we've witnessed and the journey we've shared in the fight to eradicate this crippling disease. This year, on October 24th, we have another opportunity to raise our voices, commit to action, and contribute to a cause that, for decades, has been at the heart of Rotary's mission — ending polio.

October 24, 2023 - World Polio Day provides an opportunity to highlight global efforts toward a polio free world and honor the tireless contributions of those on the frontlines in the fight to eradicate polio from every corner of the globe. We need to ramp up our efforts to eradicate polio to protect children from this devastating and disabling disease. What are you and your club members planning for World Polio Day?
Tell us what your doing by emailing

Greetings and Salutations from the Rotary Club of Honolulu! 

If you missed our Tuesday meeting with guest speaker, Nanci Kreidman, you might want to give yourself a hug - be kind.  She packed the "house"!  Her topic was well received and plucked the heartstrings.  Violence is a tough topic - especially for those who have endured it.  Nanci, among others, has worked hard to make help available to those in need and she shared with us how, brought to our awareness things we may not have thought of, and definitely taught many of us more than we knew before. 

Our Speaker Committee has been working hard to bring you amazing speakers with relevance.

This coming week, our guest speaker will be Chip Fletcher.  He is going to share with us about our eroding shorelines.  Do you live on the shoreline?  You might want to come listen to what he has to say!  Is there something we can do?  I don't know, but I will be there to find out!  COME JOIN US!  Sign up now before registration closes!

Maui Rotary Clubs hosted “Kokua Lahaina Rising,” an informational meeting with Lahaina-area physicians and mental health providers.

On Thursday, Aug. 31st, the nine Maui Rotary clubs hosted a dinner and informational meeting at Tante Fishmarket Restaurant in Ma’alaea Harbor. Over 65 Rotarians and Maui-area health care professionals gathered to hear Dr. David Schonfeld, director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement. Dr. Schonfeld was in Maui at the invitation of the Hawaii Department of Health.  Kathleen Merriam, from the Department of Health on Oahu, Adult Mental Health Division, was dispatched to Maui for three days to assist with the newly-established Lahaina Medical Clinic.  Kathleen assisted at the event and serves as the chairwoman of District 5000’s Mental Health Action Group.

Event coordinator Joanne Laird said Thursday’s dinner was underwritten by two very generous Rotary benefactors, one from Maui and one from California. For more information about children recovering from disasters and tragedy, visit

It's time for our annual fundraiser! This year we are holding a garage and bake sale at Past President's Nicole's house. Her neighborhood is holding a neighborhood garage sale so we figured we'd join the fun! At our garage sale, we will also be selling baked goods, drinks, and possibly some other snacks. Make sure to stop by and support our club fundraiser. 

Last year we fundraised money for our club necessities, IHS Hawaii and other non-profits with a 40/40/20% split of proceeds. This year we are doing a similar concept. 40% of our proceeds will go towardsAloha Harvest, the largest food rescue and redistribution organization in Hawaiʻi, getting quality excess food into stomachs instead of landfills. For information, please click HERE. 40% of the proceeds will be put into our club funds and allocated towards future service projects and club necessities, but not necessarily this fiscal year. The last 20% of the proceeds will be put into our club funds, but allocated for various service projects that occur this fiscal year (for example, Operation Christmas Child).

Aug 27, 2023

Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation (HRYF) is participating in Give Aloha, Foodland’s Annual Community Matching Gifts Program.  This program honors Foodland’s founder, Maurice J. "Sully" Sullivan, and continues his legacy of giving back to the community.  Proceeds from this campaign will help fund the HRYF scholarship program.

Aug 23, 2023

Kaanapali, HAWAII (August 23, 2023) – In response to the devastating wildfires that recently impacted West Maui, the Hawaii Rotary District 5000 Foundation has allocated $50,000 towards relief efforts aimed at providing immediate assistance to affected residents in the form of gas cards from Maui Oil. The distribution of gas cards started on Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency in Kaanapali, in conjunction with Maui United Way. Members of the Maui Rotary Clubs will continue distributing gas cards to individuals impacted by the fires.

Aug 22, 2023

August 22, 2023 updates from Maui Coastal Clubs Assistant Governor Al Weiland

August 15, 2023 updates from Maui Coastal Clubs Assistant Governor Al Weiland

Maui Rotary Clubs is working with the State Dept. of Housing Finance and Development, Maui Economic Opportunity and the Realtors Association of Maui to identify people who need housing and landlords who have housing available. RAM is in contact with all the property management companies. HHFDC has a form online for landlords to identify the nature of their property and people in need of housing to identify what they need. 

Meet the members of the Rotary Club of Downtown Honolulu at Walmart Ke'eaumoku as the hold a donation drive for victims of the Maui wildfires. 
When: Saturday, August 12 | 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Where: 700 Ke'eaumoku Street
Items will be sent to Maui via Stevedores & PASHA.

Ala Moana Rotary Initiative Will Give School Supplies to 60 Student

Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed in school, regardless of their family's financial situation. Unfortunately, the cost of school supplies has been steadily rising, making it increasingly difficult for some families to provide their children with the necessary tools for learning. The average family now spends a staggering $700 per child on school supplies. For many families, this means choosing between essentials like food, rent, or school supplies.

That's where the Ala Moana Rotary Club comes in. We're proud to introduce the SmartStart program, an initiative designed to donate 60 backpacks filled with school supplies to Lunalilo School. Our mission is to help students who may not be able to afford new supplies for the start of the school year.

📅 Hickam Pearl Harbor Welcomes August with Open Arms!

 Check out the latest calendar of events for the Rotary Club of Hickam Pearl Harbor!

🗓️ Let's make this month unforgettable with making a difference in our community! 💪

📍 Check out the August Calendar: 📍

#RotaryHPH #RotaryinHawaii #CommunityInvolvement #TogetherWeCan #JoinUs

On Saturday July 26, six of the nine Maui recipients of the Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation Scholarship (HRYF) Awards program were recognized at a luncheon at Café O`Lei, Kihei restaurant.  This event was attended by a parent of each of the recipients and the representatives of their sponsoring Rotary clubs.  Katy Shroder, Maui HRYF Trustee and organizer of this event, addressed the group and gave a brief history of this unique scholarship program where all 52 clubs in Rotary District 5000 (Hawaii) have the opportunity to award a $5000 scholarship to a graduating high school senior.  Two of the Maui students were also recognized as the recipients of the top scholarship awards of $10,000.  Alex Nguyen from Maui High School (sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kahului) and Olapaholunape Duvachelle from Molokai High School (sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset) shared their excitement of being selected for the Maurice J. Sullivan and the Joanna L. Sullivan awards. Joanne Laird, Maui Coastal Clubs Representative, and Wendy Hornack, Maui Central Clubs Representative, introduced each of the recipients who then had the opportunity to address the audience on where they were attending college and their future plans after graduating.

Aloha, Rotarians and community members!

The Rotary Club of Honolulu is thrilled to kick off the new Rotarian Year 2023-2024 with a fantastic array of upcoming events and engaging lunch meetings. From Restaurant Week gatherings to volunteer opportunities and inspirational guest speakers, we have something for everyone.

Each year, Rotarians and Rotaractors dedicate their time and efforts to their clubs and their communities. We don’t want that work to go unrecognized. Rotary offers a variety of awards to members, both Rotarians and Rotaractors, for their commitment to service. Each award is distinct in terms of eligibility criteria, the nomination process, and the award materials given to recipients. Learn more about recognition opportunities and plan ahead using the Rotary’s Service Awards guide.

RI President R. Gordon R. McInally urges Rotary members to prioritize mental health and create a culture of care within Rotary and worldwide. As August is Membership and New Club Development Month, it's an ideal time to assess and enhance the club's culture. The article suggests utilizing surveys, like the member interest and member satisfaction surveys, to gather feedback and empower members to shape their club experience. Moreover, it encourages taking the "Creating an Inclusive Club Culture" course and exploring additional resources on My Rotary to foster an inclusive and supportive environment.

President's Message

Dear Rotary Club of Ala Moana and Friends!

      I hope this message finds you well and excited for the upcoming Rotary events! Here are some important updates for our club:

  1. We are dark this Thursday.  There is no meeting July 27, 2023.
  2. In lieu of a club meeting, we have a couple of activities such as two service projects:  SmartStart Program and a Clothing Drive benefiting the students of our adopted elementary school, Lunalilo Elementary School (see details below).  We also have our first social event of the new Rotary year. If you RSVP'd, we look forward to seeing you Thursday, 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.
  3. Our next club meeting is next Thursday, August 3, at the Pacific Club - Thank you to those who have RSVP'd.  If you have not yet replied, you still have today to do so!  Check out the guest speaker and topic!  We will have a plated lunch so it's important to have an accurate headcount to ensure that you will have a seat and plate.  Click on the appropriate blue box below.
  4. We are still collecting RSVPs for our club meeting the following Thursday, August 10.  You have until August 2 to do so. Click on the appropriate blue box below.
  5. Members:  Please pay your semi-annual dues and voluntary contributions by the end of the month, July 31.  If you need another copy of the Semi-Annual Dues and Voluntary Contribution Statements, please let us know.   Pay by check (one check for both statements) or pay online (one transaction for dues; and, another transaction for contributions).
Thank you for your ongoing dedication to service and fellowship. Your contributions and participation make our Rotary Club of Ala Moana strong and impactful. Let's continue to make a positive difference in our community and beyond.

Yours in Rotary service,

David Arita
President, Rotary Club of Ala Moana

Calling all Rotary and Rotaract Clubs, Kiwanis, Lions, and Optimist Clubs.... let's celebrate Community Week! September 11-17, 2023

2023-24 presidential initiatives

Rotary International President R. Gordon R. McInally is passionate about mental health and helping remove the stigma that sometimes prevents people from getting quality care. During this year, Gordon will focus on three initiatives that Create Hope in the World: prioritizing mental health, building peace through virtual exchanges, and empowering girls.

Are you the parent/grandparent of a middle school student?  Know of a parent/grandparent with a middle school student? Another Virtual Junior Mini RYLA workshop is coming soon on October 11, 2023. Students will discover leadership skills, make new connections, and ignite their potential in this exciting virtual event. Registration is FREE, thanks to the support of Rotary clubs in Hawai'i Rotary District 5000. Visit the Junior RYLA webpage for more details and secure a student's spot today!
In a remarkable display of unity, the Rotary Club of Honolulu gathered to dedicate not one, but two Peace Poles at Palama Settlement. These symbolic monuments carry the powerful message "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in 16 different languages, celebrating the rich diversity of the community, including four Micronesian languages making their debut appearance on a Peace Pole.

Rotary Action Group for Peace and the Rotary Clubs of Hawai’i work together to plant Peace Poles on the beautiful Island of Hawaii.

Hawai'i Rotary Past District Governor (2021-2022) Sandy Matsui, a dedicated Rotarian for over 30 years, shares her inspiring Rotary journey, which began with overcoming barriers as a woman in Rotary. Now serving as the Zone 26 Ambassador for Empowering Girls, Sandy is passionate about fulfilling Rotary International's legacy to empower girls, working alongside fellow Rotarians to enhance their safety, health, education, and well-being worldwide. Sandy emphasizes that empowering girls and women is more than achieving equity; it is about upholding basic human rights. She encourages Rotarians to share success stories and collaborate to make a positive impact, creating new pathways for membership growth and lasting change. Together, they aim to serve with Aloha and create hope in the world.

Kathy Lum, President of the Rotary Club of Mililani Sunrise

Kathy Lum, President of the Rotary Club of Mililani Sunrise reflects on what it means to be a Rotarian. 

Nicole, a Rotaract member in Hawaii, shares her personal journey of finding hope amidst darkness. Despite her own struggles, she committed to organizing the Young Leaders Celebration, prioritizing the youth and their hard work. Unexpectedly, a job opportunity aligned with her field arose, reinforcing her belief in the reciprocal nature of creating hope for oneself and others. Nicole's story illustrates the transformative power of selflessness and the interconnectedness of actions, demonstrating how creating hope can bring about lasting change in individuals and communities. 

Continue reading the story.

Front row L-R:  Mayor Richard Bissen; Brian Moto representing the Maui Rotary Club; Kelsey Briggs, Lahaina Sunset Club; Ann Neizman, Lahaina Sunrise Club; Co-President Hilton Unemori, Wailuku Club.
Middle Row L-R:  Jay Satenstein, Kihei Wailea Club; Maile Tsurusato, Maui Eco Club; Mark Unemori, Co-President Wailuku Club; Mark Merriam, District-Governor Elect, Rotary Club of Metro Honolulu.
Back Row L-R: Joe Park, Lahaina Club; Kauwela Bisquera, Kahului Club; Mike Luque, Upcountry Club.
Aloha from Hawai'i Rotary District 5000 Governor Mark Merriam. A letter to Hawai'i Rotarians welcoming the new year to create hope in the world.
Mahalo Immediate Past District Governor for your year of service to Hawai'i Rotary District 5000. Read his end of year recap newsletter from June 30, 2023.

Now that school is over and students have graduated, the end of the club year is near!  We have a service event coming up this month with the Ko'olau Mountains Watershed Partnership and a beach clean up in July.  

We also have our last social for the club year coming up in July and would like for those interested in joining us for some Sports Box fun to please RSVP.  Price will be $25 per person.  In the RSVP survey there's a link to sign up for the potluck as well.  Please fill that out if you plan on bringing something to share.  For those who are unfamiliar with what Sports Box is, check it out here.  Hope the video convinces you to come. 😋

The picturesque city of Hilo, Hawai'i, hosted the highly anticipated Hawai'i Rotary District 5000 Conference on May 19 through May 21, affectionately known as DISCON 2023 Hilo. Rotarians from across the state, representing all four islands, came together to commemorate their individual and collective achievements during the Rotary year 2022-23.
PICTURE ALBUM (Facebook Page)| SPONSORS, ADVERTISERS, and DONORS (landing page) | PROGRAM BOOK (PDF Download)
The Hele-on Bus System is currently operating for FREE during DISCON 2023.  There is no fare to use the Hele-on Bus System during your time in Hilo.  Here's how to use Hele-On:
Hilo volunteers will be operating a FREE shuttle service, the Friendly Rotary Shuttle.  Here's how you can take advantage of the shuttle from Hilo International Airport to the Grand Naniloa Hotel as well as back to the airport from the hotel.
You've arrived in Hilo.  Now what?  Transportation from and to the Hilo International Airport and the Grand Naniloa Hotel is on your own.  For your convenience, a map of Hilo International Airport is shown below with locations for the various ground transportation accommodations of your choice (source:
  • Friendly Rotarian Shuttle (Click HERE on how to take advantage of this free service)
  • Hele-On Bus (FREE to use during DISCON!  Learn More HERE.)
  • Pre-Arranged Taxi
  • On-Demand Taxi
  • Shared Ride Service
  • Car Rental

2024 District Spring Assembly

Empowering Rotarians for Impactful Service


The Magic of Rotary is alive with The Rotary Foundation (TRF). With TRF, it transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to our island home and around the world. Become a donor today!
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