Aloha Angels Donor Paul Horner, general manager of The Club at Kukui‘ula, embraces Sharlyn Kanna, left, and Sulyn Hashimoto, two of the four Kalaheo teachers whose classes he adopted, at a faculty meeting last Wednesday. Contributed photo
When an angel tells you something, you better believe it.
Seven months ago, under its Adopt a Class program, Aloha Angels set out to raise funds to award $700 to every teacher at Kaua‘i’s 13 public elementary schools.
And they just did it, raising more than $157,000 to be distributed among 225 teachers on the island.
Last Wednesday, when Aloha Angels President Ric Cox broke the news to 21 teachers at Kalaheo Elementary School that each would receive $500 for school supplies and $200 for a field trip, he was greeted with applause, cheers and even tears.
That faculty meeting was the 12th and final stop on a goodwill tour Cox started July 23. At a meeting with teachers at each school, he delivered the good news, while wearing his furry white halo.
To Cox’s disappointment, the Angels funds he raised didn’t make it to the 13th school. He said the principal there declined the $20,000, insisting his teachers don’t need more money.
What allowed Aloha Angels to award $157,500 to all 225 teachers at the 12 schools?
“The generosity of 78 donors, whose gifts ranged from $5 to $56,000,” Cox said. “As a Rotarian, I am proud that 75 percent of the money raised for Adopt a Class was donated by Kaua‘i’s five Rotary clubs and their members.”
The largest gift came from the Rotary Club of Kapa‘a Foundation, from reserves it had accumulated from Taste of Hawai‘i, its annual fundraiser. That foundation adopted all 48 classes at Kapa‘a Elementary and all 21 at Kekaha, two of the island’s neediest schools, plus 11 at other schools.
Asked what motivated the foundation he heads to adopt 80 classrooms, Jim Saylor explained,
“For several years, we’ve been looking for an exciting program to support in a big way. We decided that Adopt a Class was it. This is a wonderful way to support teachers in their efforts to inspire every student,” Rotary Club of Kapa‘a Foundation President Jim Saylor said of the motivation behind the organization adopting 80 classrooms.
Kapa‘a Rotary’s foundation contributed an additional $48,000 to other Aloha Angels programs, for a total gift of $104,000.