Categorized | Featured, Volunteering

Cat shelters a purr-fect Rotarians at Work project

(Photo courtesy of Rotary Club of Kona Mauka)

Special to Hawaii 24/7 by Emily Mendez-Bryant

Rotary Club of Kona Mauka members, along with their families, recently put together four cat shelters for advoCats Inc. – a non-profit organization based in Kailua-Kona whose mission is to protect the rights of feral felines.

The club was searching for a project that would be in line with “Rotarians at Work Day” and this was a purr-fect match.

Since 2006, Rotarians At Work Day was established at the end of April. The purpose is to identify a hands-on project that all members can participate in to help their local community.

AdvoCats is dedicated to the well being of Hawaii’s abandoned and homeless cat populations. These “hales” will be put in identified locations by advoCats of where feral feline colonies exist in the West Hawaii community, in order to be able to provide a place for shelter and food for volunteers who feed and care for them.

The shelters will also assist the Trap-Neuter-Return program in order to control overpopulation as well as maintain good health within these colonies. Since 1999, advoCATS, Inc. has spayed and neutered 10,200 cats. They have saved an unbelievably large number of kittens from being born feral.

(Photo courtesy of Rotary Club of Kona Mauka)

“This was a great community service project for our club,” said Donna Hiranaka, president of the Rotary Club of Kona Mauka. “Although the main focus in our club is education and youth, this was fun and it didn’t cost us much at all. That’s the beauty of a project, you can have fun and give back at the same time, and the gains are limitless.”

Rod Crisp, community service chairman of the club, said, “advoCats asked us for our help. We had the manpower, and our club was willing to help out, so why not. We put these four shelters together in no time and we all enjoyed the time doing it. Who knew our club was good at this too!”

“It was awesome,” Malayna, 11, said. “I felt good about helping because I knew it would make a difference. And, since I love animals and want to be a vet one day, it was a great way to do something different. My friend Jacelyn and I can’t wait to see where our shelter will be.”

Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 32,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

Kona Mauka Rotary Club consists of over twenty members from the Kona community. They meet at noon every Tuesday at Teshima’s Restaurant in Honalo.

If you are interested in finding out more about Rotary, contact Donna Hiranaka at 938-4194.

(Photo courtesy of Rotary Club of Kona Mauka)

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