FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
ROTARY CLUB OF HONOLULU SEEKS PUBLIC’S ASSISTANCE IN FUNDING CENTENNIAL PARK
The Rotary Club Has Raised $305,000 of Its $550,000 Goal
HONOLULU – The Rotary Club of Honolulu (RCOH) is seeking the public’s assistance for the creation of Centennial Park, a project that will turn a barren, gravel lot in central Waikiki into a green space. The planned 35,000-square-foot oasis, located at 2551 Aloha Drive between Seaside and Royal Hawaiian Avenues, will be a place of vibrancy and culture offering families, businesses and visitors an area for recreation, exercise and fun. The park also is expected to add value to the local Waikiki community, where thousands of people live, work, play and visit.
“The opportunity to create a beautiful community park in the heart of one of the world’s most renowned tourist destinations is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Terry George, president of the Rotary Club of Honolulu. “This project represents the mission of Rotary which is bringing people together to promote peace, humanity and the spirit of ‘Service Above Self.’ For over 100 years we have dedicated ourselves to bettering the lives of children and families – Centennial Park is a testament to our commitment to creating a better Hawaii and a better world.”
The project is expected to cost an estimated $550,000 to complete. This includes costs for construction, a gate, lights, indigenous plants and walkways. To date, the club has raised $305,000 for the park. Recently the club received generous donations from prominent businesses in Hawaii including $25,000 each from the Kobayashi Group and the MacNaughton Group. Additional gifts have been generously provided by Bank of Hawaii Foundation and The Queen’s Health Systems ($25,000 each); Irongate Capital ($20,000); and the Waikiki Improvement Association ($10,000). Dozens of Rotarians from across the state have made personal donations to get the park project started.
“We are so thankful for the donations, investments and pledges that we have received for the park so far,” continued George. “So many of our local community members and businesses have come together to make Centennial Park a reality. However, there is still work left to be done before we can begin construction. We are asking for the public’s assistance in helping us transform this vacant lot into an oasis of living greenery, education, culture and family activities for residents of today and for generations to come. This is an opportunity for people to be a part of something really special – now is the time to step up to the plate.
To provide Rotarians from around the state an opportunity to double the impact of their donations, the Rotary Club of Honolulu just announced that a handful of its members led by Ernest Hui have committed $90,000 towards a challenge grant for Centennial Park. Between now and March 31, 2018, any Rotarian who donates funds for building the park will trigger a matching amount from the Rotary Club of Honolulu’s challenge-grant team, up to a maximum of $90,000.
The first 100 donors who contribute $1,000 or more will have their names etched in the historic small stones. The first 20 donors contributing $2,500-plus will get their names inscribed in a pedestal seat. The first 12 donors who give $10,000 or more will have their names etched on one of the large stones on the site.
The park will feature a manicured, rolling grand lawn encircled by a flagstone walkway with lush garden areas of indigenous plants, trees and ground cover. There will be an automated sprinkler system for the grass and garden areas, and automatic lights to illuminate the walkways and garden areas. The park will have stools for sitting and an open space that can be used for hula events, musical entertainment, reading, storytelling and more. It will be protected by a 6-foot-high regal, wrought iron/stone fence surrounding the park perimeter. The park will be the only open, green space within central Waikiki.
The Rotary Club of Honolulu was chartered in 1915 and celebrated its 100th birthday in 2015. To commemorate the centennial of Rotary in Hawaii, the club decided to name the park “Centennial Park.” Ten lava rocks engraved with the histories of Waikiki, Rotary in Hawaii and its Foundation (with each rock representing one decade of the past 100 years), will be displayed throughout the park.
Once the park is completed, it will be gifted back to the City and County of Honolulu. The City has agreed to the pay for the park’s maintenance. However, the Rotary Club of Honolulu will join with surrounding neighbors and Rotarians from other Waikiki area clubs to have regular volunteer cleanups. The park will be open to the public during most of the day with plans to close around 10 p.m. The park will be locked nightly since camping will be prohibited.
For more information or to donate, visit www.centennialparkwaikiki.org or call (808) 922-5526. Checks made out to Rotary District 5000 Foundation, with “Centennial Park” noted in the memo portion of the check, may be mailed to The Rotary Club of Honolulu, 705 Queen Street, Honolulu, HI 96813.
About The Rotary Club of Honolulu
The Rotary Club of Honolulu was chartered on July 1, 1915 as the first Rotary Club in Hawaii. Since then, the club has grown in average membership of nearly 200 business professionals and nonprofit leaders in Hawaii. There are now 51 Rotary clubs throughout the state.
“Service Above Self” has been embodied by Honolulu Rotarians since the club’s inception and is brought to life through the humanitarian service projects that build goodwill and peace in the community.
Members are active philanthropists and are involved in numerous volunteer projects that strive to improve the quality of education, the well-being of the local environment and various international humanitarian efforts in Asia.
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