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Kona 4-H clubs kick in to assist American Red Cross

The County of Hawaii Fire Department, Police Department, Prosecutor's Office, and Planning Department also helped with keiki ID's and checking blood pressure, in addition to assisting with the young Hats Off volunteers. (Hawaii 24/7 photo courtesy of Margaret Masunaga)

Special to Hawaii 24/7 by Margaret Masunaga

Kona 4-H clubs volunteered their time Saturday, March 13 for the American Red Cross and collected more than $5,000 at the “Hats Off” event held at Wal-Mart, KTA, and Lanihau Center in Kailua-Kona.

The Busy Bee Buddies 4-H club, comprising of first and second graders, greeted Wal-Mart customers with store manager John Yates, and were the “top producers.”

Who could refuse when a cute keiki said, “Good morning, would you like to donate to the American Red Cross?”

Parent Kim Kunitomo, who was helping at KTA in Kailua-Kona, said donations included $100 and $50 from generous donors in the West Hawaii community.

“At least 90 percent of the customers exiting Wal-Mart donated $1,” said another parent. “We are fortunate to live in the County of Hawaii where our community does help each other out. It was a positive experience for our 6, 7, and 8 year-old 4-H volunteers.”

The Busy Bee Buddies 4-H Club members and their helpers, included Jamie Saito, Kai Kunitomo, Michelle Tam, D’Marco Mireles, Jana Masunaga, Moani Nishida and daughter, Kel Kunitomo, Caileen Teramoto, Richard Cacal, Carson Nishida, Taylie Oshiro, Margaret Masunaga, Jaymie Kunitomo, Iris Higashi-Oshiro, Deana Teramoto, Fire Chief Ralph Yawata and coordinator & Deputy Prosecutor Carol Kitaoka.

The American Red Cross responds to disasters big and small, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and has served in Hawaii for 93 years.

In addition to responding to disaster victims, in Hawaii, more than 33,000 people were taught how to save lives, and provided emergency communication between deployed Hawaii military service members and their families in times of crisis.

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The Busy Bee Buddies 4-H Club members and their helpers. (Hawaii 24/7 photo courtesy of Margaret Masunaga)

County of Hawaii firemen are (from left) Dusty Frechette, Gifford Matsuoka, Jamie Okuda, Justin Yamamoto, Galor Sasaki, and in front are Kai Kunitomo, Jana and Margaret Masunaga. (Hawaii 24/7 photo courtesy of Margaret Masunaga)

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