Thirty-one Akaka Falls Lions Club members, including two family members and one member from the Hilo Lions Club, participated in their annual Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation project recently. Lions performed more than 125 man hours painting three bedrooms and a kitchen, including closets, baseboards, window frames, cabinets, doors, shelves and a food pantry at the Mental Health Kokua at 208 Wainaku Ave. in Hilo.
As a statewide nonprofit organization, Mental Health Kokua has provided services on the Big Island since 1991.
A $10,000 check from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation was later presented to the Mental Health Kokua in recognition of the Lions’ community service.
This is the club’s fifth annual project provided to community nonprofit organizations. Previous Akaka Falls Lions Club project beneficiaries of $10,000 from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation were the Children’s Justice Center of East Hawaii, Big Island Substance Abuse Council, Salvation Army Family Intervention Services and Easter Seals of Hawaii-Hilo.
Akaka Falls Lions Club is known in the community for providing hearing and vision screening at preschools, elementary schools and a few public events.
They also participate in Adopt-a-Highway litter pickup four times a year from the Akaka Falls State Park down to the highway junction, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, bell ringing during the holidays for the Salvation Army and Hospice Light Up a Life.
Through the years, they have collected used eyeglasses and hearing aids for third-world countries, distributed school supplies to disadvantaged youths, donated backpacks and personal hygiene items to foster children, maintained bus shelters at Kapehu and Ookala, participated in Domestic Violence Peace Walk/Vigil and sign waving.
They also host clients at the annual visually impaired Christmas gathering, have presented floral bouquets at various Veterans Memorial Services, provide refreshments for the Blood Bank of Hawaii blood donation drive, are sponsors of the Laupahoehoe High School Leo Club and provide a scholarship to a graduating senior at Laupahoehoe High School.