Panel sup­ports non­profit awards

$1.5M from county cof­fers rec­om­mended to be dis­bursed among 85 or­ga­ni­za­tions

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - FRONT PAGE - By NANCY COOK LAUER

Sub­stance abuse pro­grams, el­derly trans­porta­tion, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and Na­tive Hawai­ian health care took top billing Tues­day as a Hawaii County Coun­cil com­mit­tee rec­om­mended dis­burs­ing $1.5 mil­lion to 85 com­mu­nity non­prof­its.

The Com­mit­tee on Hu­man Ser­vices and So­cial Ser­vices ap­proved the rec­om­men­da­tions, 8-0, with Puna Coun­cil­woman Jen Rug­gles ab­sent. The money now goes into the an­nual bud­get to be voted on by the coun­cil next month.

Non­prof­its com­pete for the awards and are re­quired to sub­mit re­ports on how the money was used. The county char­ter man­dates the coun­cil give $1 mil­lion an­nu­ally, but the mayor and coun­cil have awarded $1.5 mil­lion in re­cent years.

A com­mit­tee chaired by South Kona/ Ka‘u Coun­cil­woman Maile David,

along with Hilo Coun­cil­woman Sue Lee Loy, North Kona Coun­cil­woman Karen Eoff and Ko­hala Coun­cil­man Tim Richards sifted through 145 el­i­gi­ble ap­pli­ca­tions to­tal­ing $6.5 mil­lion in re­quests to re­duce the awards to the avail­able funds.

Some ap­pli­cants sub­mit­ted sep­a­rate ap­pli­ca­tions for sev­eral pro­grams. Awards were rec­om­mended for all but six ap­pli­cants.

“Al­though amounts re­quested by or­ga­ni­za­tions far ex­ceeded rec­om­mended award amounts, all ap­pli­cants ex­pressed their un­der­stand­ing and con­veyed their de­ter­mi­na­tion to con­tinue pro­vid­ing ser­vices to sup­ple­ment the needs of our is­land com­mu­ni­ties and in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion,” David said.

Lee Loy praised the work non­prof­its do in the com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially with the most vul­ner­a­ble res­i­dents.

“These non­prof­its are touch­ing them at the grass-roots level,” Lee Loy said. “These non­prof­its are touch­ing them ev­ery sin­gle day.”

In ad­di­tion to health and so­cial ser­vices pro­grams, grant win­ners also pro­vide le­gal and me­di­a­tion ser­vices, arts, mu­sic and his­tory pro­grams and spay and neuter ser­vices for feral cats.

“It isn’t the largest grant we seek out, but it is the most im­por­tant be­cause it’s so con­sis­tent,” said Joy Holland, rep­re­sent­ing the Kona His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion was rec­om­mended to re­ceive $5,875 of the $20,000 it re­quested. The money will be used for liv­ing his­tory ac­tiv­i­ties and com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams.

“Our vi­sion is to build a re­silient com­mu­nity through the uni­ver­sal lan­guage of art,” said Nidhi Chab­ora, rep­re­sent­ing Self Dis­cov­ery Through Art.

The group was rec­om­mended to be awarded $3,750 of the $30,000 it re­quested.

Kona Coun­cil­man Dru Kanuha thanked all the ap­pli­cants for the work they do in the com­mu­nity.

“I know it’s not ev­ery­thing you guys could have got­ten,” Kanuha said, “but even a small amount helps.”



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