Upcoming Speakers
Tim Richards
Aug 11, 2020 12:00 PM
County Council District 9
Bob Schafer
Aug 18, 2020 12:00 PM
Agronomist
Latest News
After launching out the first two meetings of the new Rotary year at Hilo Tavern, President Maurice Goulding brought our weekly club meetings back to the Zoom online format we've been using since COVID-19 broke out in March of 2020.  Maurice announced today (via email) that the next four meetings will take place online with four guest speakers covering the full spectrum of agriculture, recycling and Hawaii County business.  
 
David Marquis from Puna Precious Plastics will join us on July 28th to fill us in on his progress and his project's obstacles as he ventures to find ways to reduce or redirect our plastic waste stream.  On August 4th, Peter Silva, Executive Director of the Hawaii HIV/AIDS Foundation, will be talking about his foundation, what it's like to run the only STD clinics on island, the importance of his work and how it effects us all.
 
Tuesday, August 11 will bring us Councilman Tim Richards from District 9 will talk to our group about several agriculture and food initiatives happening on the island as well as new project ideas and what we can do to move toward a food secure, sustainable and resilient Hawaii.  Tim will be followed on August 18th by agronomist Bob Schafer who will be talking to us about an island wide composting project. He has a wealth of knowledge and may covers some other topics that also fit in with our Club's new focus.
 
Please plan to join us.
 
On Tuesday July 7, Maurice Goulding will be inaugurated as the next president of the Rotary Club of South Hilo.  He takes over for Benson Medina who served the last two years as club president.   Maurice has been an active member of our club since joining in 2016.   He has been a member of the Board of Directors for the last two years, serving as Community Service Chair and President-Elect.  Maurice will be supported by an experienced Board led by President-Elect Keith Greer, Secretary Tracy Klask and Treasurer Zeda Medina.   
 
Maurice's celebration and first club meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 7th from 11:30 - 1p.m. at Hilo Town Tavern at 168 Keawe Street. 
With COVID-19 completely changing our world, our club meeting have now moved online.  Our club meets online at our normal time (12 noon) every Tuesday.  You can join the meeting with either your computer or phone, but you must register ahead of time using the following link.  Our meetings are password protected, but once you register and receive the password, it's the same every week.
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When: Every Tuesday at 12:00 PM Hawaii
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. If you've already registered for a meeting previously, you do not need to do this again.  Just use the same link every week.
 
 
The Rotary Clubs of East Hawaii also have an online meeting every Thursday at noon.  You can register for this meeting using the following link:
 
When: Every Thursday at 12:00 PM Hawaii
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. If you've already registered for a meeting previously, you do not need to do this again.  Just use the same link every week.
 
Stay safe, stay in touch, stay positive!  Hope to see you at a meeting!
 
Following the suggested cancellation or postponement of group/social gatherings by our State and County governments, I am suspending our regularly scheduled Rotary club meetings until April 7th.  We do have a service project scheduled for March 21st so please check with our website (www.rotarysouthhilo.org) for updates.
 
I encourage everyone to stay in touch with each other via phone, text or email.  Pass along information on any of our members who may need help or might fall ill.
 
Please stay home if you are at risk, practice social distancing and wash your hands!
 
Take Care All,
 
Benson Medina
President
With worldwide concern over the rapid spread of a novel coronavirus and a recent report from the State Department of Health that two confirmed cases traveled through our state in recent weeks, over 60 people attended a special meeting on Tuesday, February 18th.  East Hawaii Rotary Clubs hosted Jason Dela Cruz from the State Department of Health and Chad Shibuya, Arthur Sampaga and Elena Cabatu from Hilo Medical Center.  The group took us through a lively presentation that included the origin of the virus, measures that have been taken to arrest the spread and local precautions that are being taken to keep our citizens safe and prevent panic that can result from the spread of inaccurate information on social media.  Dela Cruz and Shibuya both stressed taking the normal precautions to avoid getting the flu or colds (such as frequent handwashing) and that the spread of the virus throughout Hawaii is pretty small.
 
Over 60 people attended a special Rotary meeting to discuss the coronavirus in Hawaii.
 
Members from all East Hawaii Rotary Clubs were in attendance
Hilo resident, Mike Kalekini, Senior Director for Public Affairs at ORMAT, Inc, gave us an update on the status of our local geothermal plant.  ORMAT, an international company, owns and operates Puna Geothermal Venture located in lower Puna.  The plant was surrounded by the May 2018 eruption that destroyed over 500 homes and displaced thousands of residents.  The geothermal plant was producing roughly 30% of the electricity used on Hawaii Island at the time of the eruption.  Though the plant was not destroyed by the lava, its transmission substation and connection to HELCO was demolished and is currently being re-built.  Kalekini hopes to be back online sometime late in the first quarter.
President Benson, Dana Butler (Hastings and Pleadwell) and Mike Kaleikini (PGV)
Our members enjoy the presentation.
Marissa and Paulla enjoy a moment as they prepare to bring new Rotarians into the world!
Tom and Irene get ready to volley some questions at Mike
One of the founding members of the Rotary Club of South Hilo, Jimmy Souza, passed away today at age 90. . Jimmy took ill on December 21st and had been convalescing at Life Care since then.  He started to decline over the weekend and passed away peacefully this morning at 9:53 a.m.  More information on funeral arrangements will follow, including how our Rotary Club will memorialize Jimmy.  His daughter, Geri, expressed gratitude to Rotary for always being a special place for Jimmy since 1956.
At our December 18th meeting, our Board of Directors approved a five-year "Leadership Line" that ensures the Rotary Club of South Hilo will have continuity and consistency in their leadership for the next five years.  The leadership line starts with our current President Benson Medina (2019-2020), our President-Elect Maurice Goulding (2020-2021), President Nominee Keith Greer (2021-2022), President Designee Catherine "Cat" Rehberg (2022-2023) and President Successor Tracy Klask (2023-2024).  Congratulations to new leadership!
 
Doug Adam received his Paul Harris +6 pin (his first ruby!) at the weekly meeting on Tuesday December 17th.  
Paul Harris Fellow recognition has been decorating our Rotary Foundation’s passionate supporters for many years. It is a proud tradition that honors the memory of our founder Past RI President Paul Harris.  In order to be honored as a Paul Harris Fellow, someone must contribute sums of at least $1,000 to our Foundation’s Annual Fund, Polio Plus, or approved Foundation grant. These funds can be used to honor others while being applied to the amazing work that has distinguished our Rotary Foundation as an organization that provides hope, health, and peace around the world. Becoming a Paul Harris Fellow is a tremendous accomplishment and honor multiplying that generosity, multiples the community impact made with these contributions. So much good begins with these gifts: wells are constructed, children are vaccinated against illness, senior citizens are afforded meals and services, children and adults are educated and given professional opportunities. This work is vital to the children, families, and communities who benefit. Only when people’s basic needs are met, can they pursue the larger elements of human life including conflict resolution, community building, and peace. Paul Harris Fellows, in a very tangible way, provide stepping stones to a more harmonious world. 
A festive time was had by all that came out to Safeway on Saturday December 21st to ring the bell for Salvation Army.  Cat stole the show with her tap dancing and mahalo to her father for being Jolly Saint Nick!
 
 
 
Dictionary Distribution Chair Irene Bender has been hard at work getting Rotary dictionaries out to dozens of elementary school students in the Hilo area during the last month.  With help from many volunteers including Paulla Speegle, Phoebe Lambeth, Benson and Zeda Medina, Pat Aiona Jr., Charlene Iboshi, Peter Boucher, Pat Aiona Sr., Kim Kobayashi and Tom English (among others), we have been able to distribute dictionaries to St. Joseph's, Keaukaha Elementary, Kapiolani, EB DeSilva and Kalanianaole schools so far.  Rotary dictionary distribution is a worldwide Rotary project that promotes literacy around the world.
We were honored to have JaNeal Stevens with the Special Olympics at our weekly meeting on December 10th.  The Special Olympics received monies from our matching foundation grant to allow local Olympians to complete in Oahu.
 
The second beneficiary of our Hilo Huli proceeds received a $10,000 donation from our Foundation.  Lisa Rantz, Executive Director of the Hilo Medical Center Foundation (HMCF) attended our October 15th meeting to accept the check from Foundation treasurer, Wana Agasa.  HMCF was one of 15 east side non-profits to apply for project funding from the Rotary Club of South Hilo Foundation.   Rantz reavealed that the award would be used to assist the Rural Health Professionals rotation program.   This program allows health professionals to move around our community to experience the many facets of our culture, livelihood and families.  Our Foundation has donated nearly $100,000 to HMCF over the last 10 years.
Congratulations to Charlene Iboshi for becoming a Paul Harris Fellow.  Charlene is an active member of our club serving as the Peace Committee Chair, volunteering her time to numerous service organizations in our community and always with camera in hand capturing all the special moments.  Thank you for all you do for us Charlene!
Kamaka Gunderson (left) and Linda Leilani Lindsey-Kaapuni (3rd from left) spoke on the behalf of the Mauna Kea Protectors at our October 8th meeting at the invitation of our member Lani Weigert (2nd from left).  Sherry Bracken (right) from NPR was also at the meeting to cover the presentation.  Gunderson and Lindsey-Kaapuni discussed their view that many of the agreements that were supposed to be followed regarding the management of Mauna Kea have been not been upheld by the State of Hawaii.  They also shared the belief of many native Hawaiians that Mauna Kea has always been deemed as a scared space so that any building or construction of any kind constitutes desecration of a sacred Hawaiian site.  Several club members participated in a lively question and answer period that followed their presentation.
 
 
Another successful Rotary volunteer event was held on Saturday October 5th.  Under beautiful sunny skies, 10 members of our South Hilo family handled the awards section of the annual Special Olympics Bocce Ball competition held on the baseball field at University of Hawaii-Hilo.  Chairperson Jeanna Rimmer assembled an experienced crew who was responsible for making sure every participant was acknowledged for their achievement and participation.  Besides Jeanna, other members of the RCSH 'ohana Tracy Klask and her daughter Tiana, Cat Rehberg, Lani Weigert, Zeda and Benson Medina and their granddaughters Zoe and Marissa and Shari Todd spent the better part of Saturday helping this very worthy cause.
Please welcome the newest Rotarian to the Rotary Club of South Hilo, Kim Kobayashi.  Please reach out and introduce yourself to Kim!
 
Join us for our next Rotary of South Hilo meeting.  Lunch meetings are held each Tuesday at 12:00 pm at the Hilo Hawaiian, Queen's Court Restaurant.  Get there early for seating and placing lunch order
On Saturday August 31st the Rotary Club of South Hilo members joined forces with Fairwinds Cruises and Big Island Divers to help Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund clean plastic and marine debris from Kamilo Beach.  Plastic from across the Pacific Ocean is carried by the currents and washes ashore on our island at this beach. Together, the 14 volunteers and Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund staff members removed 790 lbs of marine debris. This consisted of 37 bags of trash, 100 lbs of loose plastics, and 300 lbs of nets and fishing line.  We can all help keep our oceans cleaner by reducing our use of plastics and properly disposing or recycling of the plastic we do use.
Charter member Jimmy Souza and 50-year Rotarian Val Cook welcome Cat Rehberg to the club
 
On Tuesday, August 20th, the Rotary Club of South Hilo welcomed Catherine "Cat" Rehberg as the newest member of our club.  Cat is the CEO of Lavaloha a chocolate producing farm outside of Hilo.   Cat was born in New Hampshire and travelled extensively before settling in Hilo.  She previously worked as an account executive for Creative Arts before founding Lavaloha.  Cat will be serving on the principal planning group for next year's Hilo Huli fundraiser.
About Our Club

Welcome to the Rotary Club of South Hilo

South Hilo

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 11:45 AM
Call (808) 286-6559
Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Hilo, HI 96720
United States of America
Phone:
(808) 286-6559
Because of the changes brought on by COVID-19, our club no longer meets every Tuesdays at the Hilo Hawaiian. We have moved most meetings online but also will meet in-person as conditions improve. Contact Maurice Goulding (maurice4rotary@gmail.com).
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Club Executives & Directors
President
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Secretary
Treasurer
Sergeant-at-Arms
Public Relations
Community Service
International Service
Vocational Service
Youth Service
Membership
Club Trainer
Fun Officer
RCSH Foundation President
Hawaii Youth Rotary Foundation
Peace Committee
Fun Officer
Satellite Club Chair