HERKES HOSTS BENEFIT FOR RED CROSS

To benefit Red Cross Relief Efforts in Hawaii, State Representative Bob Herkes, 5th House District, will host a special “Breakfast with Bob” on Wednesday, April 13, from 7 to 8:30 a.m., at the Pacific Club.

Speakers will include a representative of the American Red Cross and a resident of Kona whose life was affected by last month’s tsunami that displaced local families and caused an estimated $30 million worth of damage in Hawaii.

“Relief efforts need to start at home,” Herkes said. “It’s wonderful how Hawaii’s community has banded together to support Japan and other communities around the world in recent and past year’s natural disasters. That should continue, but at the same time we also must remember and support our neighbors here in the Islands, as the Red Cross responds to disasters in Hawai‘i about every four days.

“Even now as the recovery continues, we need to be prepared for the future to ensure a quick response. Hawaii has been relatively lucky to avoid the worse of two recent tsunamis, but if it was your home, business or community that was among those severely affected, it’s a disaster to you and the lives of your family members.”

Hawaii was able to avoid fatalities from the tsunami, which hit on March 11, but the impact on businesses and families has been statewide. Two major Big Island resorts have yet to reopen, and Kona Village Resort is closed indefinitely with plans to lay off more than 200 employees. In addition to the Big Island closures and layoffs, there have been numerous “shut downs” of our harbors and parks waiting for repairs to be completed.

The last day to make reservations is Friday, April 6. For reservations, call (808) 539-3482. Online reservations are also available at http://guest.cvent.com/d/wdq6ml/1QSBA

APRIL 9 JAPAN RELIEF FUNDRAISER SET FOR APRIL 9

Tohoku University Hospital in Sendai, Japan is the beneficiary of a fundraiser titled “With Aloha” on April 9 (Saturday evening from 5-9 p.m.) at the Pagoda Hotel in the Ala Moana area. Pagoda Restaurant and aio are collaborating with local businesses and community groups to raise money for the “Tohoku University Hospital -Japan Relief Fund.”

Sendai is in the Miyagi Prefecture of Japan, and is the largest city in the Tohoku Region. The coastal city has suffered catastrophic damage from the earthquake (9.0 magnitude) and resulting tsunami waves (up to 77 feet) on March 11. The epicenter of the quake was 45 miles east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tohoku. Since the disaster hit, Tohoku University Hospital has been providing food, medicine and comfort items to people in need from the surrounding areas.

“With Aloha” tickets are $50 ($60 at the door). Ticket information is available online at: www.withaloha.org.

Twenty-four (24) restaurants are participating, including Le Bistro, Pagoda, Hukilau Honolulu, Honolulu Burger Co., Ryan’s Grill, Kincaid’s, Hy’s Steakhouse, Nalo Farms and Murphy’s Bar and Grill. Anheuser-Busch, Hawaii Nui, Better Brands, Southern Wines, Paradise Beverages and Johnson Brothers are also participating.

Brother Noland, Juke Joint 5PM, Ka‘ala boys, Natural Vibes and others will be performing at the benefit. A crane-making booth, and silent auction are also planned.

KCCN (Cox Radio) will broadcast the event live.

Free parking for “With Aloha” will be available at Pacific Guardian Center (corner of Kapiolani and Keeaumoku).

“We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the people and businesses who have come forward to help us produce ‘With Aloha’ for the people of Japan,” said Duane Kurisu, aio chairman and CEO. “We are inspired each day by the generous contributions by our own employees, vendors, clients. It gives us hope for the rehabilitation of our neighbors in Japan.”

PacificBasin Communications President Scott Schumaker and his family have been sharing information about the role Tohoku University Hospital is playing in the relief and recovery efforts for the region. Schumaker’s wife, Yasue Schumaker, was in Sendai at the time of the disaster caring for her mother. At the time of the earthquake, she was on her way to visit her mother in the hospital. Yasue stayed at the hospital until just recently and has been a witness to the contributions the hospital has been making to help people recover. Yasue was interviewed by international media from the hospital in the aftermath of the disaster, providing detailed and critical news from the most impacted region to the rest of the world. (PacificBasin Communications is an aio company.)

Scott Schumaker has been keeping an online journal about the experience. Link: http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/Sendai-Honolulu-Journal/March-2011/

Monetary donations to “Tohoku University Hospital-Japan Relief Fund” can be made online at www.withaloha.org, or can also be mailed to: 1000 Bishop Street, Ste. 610, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813. Checks should be made payable to “Tohoku Hospital Japan Relief Fund.”

ALOHA FRIDAY FOR JAPAN EVENT TO FUEL FUNDRAISING EFFORTS

HONOLULU -There will be an ALOHA Friday FOR JAPAN event to support the people of Japan devastated by the recent massive earthquakes and tsunami.

From 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Friday, April 8, 2011 at Tamarind Park, American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank and First Hawaiian Bank will team up to distribute “ALOHA FOR JAPAN” t-shirts (minimum $20 donation) and collect funds for the relief efforts. Local radio personality and comedian Lanai Tabura will serve as emcee for the fundraiser, with entertainment by Christian Yrizarry of the popular island contemporary duo Ho’onu’a and reggae band Beach 5 (from 12 noon to 1 p.m.).

Donations collected at the event will go to the Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross (ARC) and the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH), both of which are tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations. Everyone is encouraged to attend and help sustain momentum for the “ALOHA FOR JAPAN” campaign, which has thus far raised $1 million to aid tsunami victims.

What: ALOHA Friday FOR JAPAN
Fundraiser hosted by the Aloha For Japan committee
Emceed by local DJ and comedian Lanai Tabura
Live music by Christian Yrizarry of Ho’onu’a and Beach 5
“ALOHA FOR JAPAN” t-shirts available for $20 donation
American Red Cross and JASH donation collection stations

When: Friday, April 8, 2011, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Where: Bishop Square/Tamarind Park mKing St. at Bishop St. Honolulu, HI 96813
Information: Visit www.ALOHAFORJAPAN.com

DISASTER LOAN OUTREACH CENTER TO OPEN IN KONA

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) declared Hawai’i County to have been “adversely affected” by the Honshu (Tohoku), Japan Tsunami of March 11, 2011, according to a notice received by Governor Neil Abercrombie. Last week, Governor Abercrombie asked for the SBA Administrative Disaster Declaration to provide low-interest disaster loans to private individuals, businesses and nonprofits on Hawai’i Island to repair or replace materials damaged from the tsunami.  Damage sustained on the other islands did not qualify for disaster loans under SBA guidelines.

SBA will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center at: West Hawai’i Civic Center, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway

The center will be open from Thursday, March 31, 2011, and will close Thursday, April 21, 2011.  Hours will be Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  More information can be found on the SBA website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

Editor’s note: the calendar items are reprinted as they were submitted by various community volunteers.

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