Rotary Club of Hilo Bay Donates Sweat Equity to Net $10,000 for the YWCA

The YWCA of Hawaii Island received a $10,000 grant from the Harry & Jeannette Weinberg Foundation Friends Program, earned by the Rotary Club of Hilo Bay (RCHB) sweat equity.

Rotary Club of Hilo members painting the preschool center at the YWCA of Hawaii Island.

Rotary Club of Hilo members painting the preschool center at the YWCA of Hawaii Island.

Rotarians worked for four hours Saturday, Feb. 22, painting the YWCA’s preschool center in warm vanilla and bright persimmon, the YWCA’s signature color. The work project was part of the Weinberg Friends requirements for hands-on community service in order to earn the grant for the agency.

“For Hilo Bay Rotarians, the work day is more than community service,” said Cedric Mitsui, president of RCHB. “It affords members a different kind of fellowship and bond.”

The YWCA Preschool on Ululani Street in Hilo offers a safe place for youngsters to learn emotionally, intellectually and physically, to prepare for kindergarten. Studies show that preschools with structured programs give children skills for school success.

“Preschool is expensive for many of our island families,” said Kathleen McGilvray, CEO of the YWCA. “We intend to use the Weinberg grant money to help defray the cost for some families who need it, both for tuition assistance and for nutritious snacks. More than 70 percent of the families who use our preschool are at or below the federal poverty level.”

The Rotary Club of Hilo Bay, chartered in 1988, averages about 50 members representing business, non-profit agencies and the professions. The group meets weekly on Wednesday mornings for breakfast. For more information, visit HiloBayRotary.com