Report to Membership on 2017 Activities

Friends of the Library – Waikoloa Region
Report to Membership on 2017 Activities

     Happy New Year to you all.  The year has flown by again.  It’s amazing to realize that FL-WR is entering our ninth year of encouraging literacy and love of reading in the community.  As in past years, our enthusiastic volunteers have participated in many successful activities.  We couldn’t do it without them.

     This year we spruced up the bookmobile by fixing the steps (thank you Jim and Kathleen McCann), painting the pergola (thank you Bette and Kathleen), recovering the bench cushions, adding two new tire protectors, and adding a nanny cam, which we hope explains the decrease in vandalism.  TJ rotates the wheels on a regular basis.  This year we purchased books picked out by Alexandra Bernstein about famous women in history and current events – from Clara Barton to female sports stars the kids today would recognize.  We also purchased books written for children to learn computer coding.  And, of course, we couldn’t operate the bookmobile without our dedicated volunteers: Derry Morris our chairperson, Gloria Drinen, Kaye Hegrenes, Melody Hills, Lynne Mclaren, Elna Pendleton and Dan Reimer.  They shelve donated books, decide which ones to keep and which to exchange with Kona Bay Books for ones we need, help members of the community who visit the bookmobile, and keep it clean.

     We purchased eleven Chromebooks for the Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School library this year, and five Chromebooks for the Kealakehe High School library; programs arranged by Vivian Green to enhance their students access to ebooks and resource materials. In order to encourage our Waikoloa Middle School graduates to continue to do well in school, we presented all of them with a beautiful journal and pen set, as well as a card, to send them on their way.

     We continued our participation in programs such as Foodland’s Give Aloha and Amazon Smile; we participated in the Mauna Lani Charity Trees event, organized by Vivian Green (we won third prize); we organized our eighth annual 5K Walk/Run for Literacy with over 100 participants, organized by Bette Green, Kathleen McCann and Mali Mueller; we held a Silent Auction, chaired by Cindy Kennedy and Stephanie Stearns, with over ninety items, including some in our new Ohana Drawing – specifically geared to children and organized by Kathleen McCann. We also held a quilt drawing (thank you again, Waikoloa Sew N Sews) and a wonderful interactive Health Fair put together by Vicki Coronel.  We thank all the many volunteers who are needed to make these events happen.   Financially, it was a good year and we will have the funds we need to continue providing literacy programs in 2018.

     The Joseph E. Spadaro Memorial Scholarship had a difficult year in 2017.  We had four new and continuing students drop out, and one student who was involved in a terrible car accident needed the summer and fall semester to recover.  The good news is that one student did graduate in the Spring.  The injured student is back in the program and a new auto mechanics student is doing very well.  Thanks to Mary Spadaro, Bette and Ruth had the opportunity to meet with administrators and many of the instructors in the trades programs at the Hawaii Community College; we are now in closer communication with them to avoid some of the problems of the past.  Bette and Ruth are looking forward to a new recruiting season this spring.  While we administer the scholarship and contribute funds, the primary contributor is Luella Spadaro, in memory of her husband, through the Hawaii Community Foundation.  Luella turns 100 in February this year, and Mary reports that she seems happier than she has been in years.  We all wish her well in her 101st year!

     This is the third year of our Baby’s First Book program, now chaired by Pat Cassel, who delivers the books as needed.  We provide a board book called “On the Day You Were Born” by Debra Frasier to all newborns at North Hawaii Community Hospital, getting them started on a lifelong love of reading.  The hospital and the Family Birthing Unit nurses are most supportive of this program, which has been funded largely by grants the last two years, thanks to a generous donor and the County of Hawaii.  We are now picking up the $3000 per year cost, but will be applying for another matching grant from Councilman Tim Richard’s discretionary funds.

     In 2018 we are again a sponsor of the Newbery Quiz Bowl, which will take place in Hilo in April.  The 2017 Quiz Bowl, at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, was very exciting with a visit from a Newbery winning author, Kwame Alexander, who was quizmaster and very entertaining.  We purchased 120 copies of his latest book, The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot and Score in This Game Called Life, to give to Quiz Bowl participants, and he autographed them all!  The teams were so excited. This year, thanks to our intrepid leader, Vicki Coronel, we now have two teams that we sponsor – an elementary school one and a middle school team.  Vicki meets with the students every week school is in session, providing leadership and encouragement to these young readers, who are challenged to read forty different books each year.  Each book has been awarded the Newbery Medal for American children’s literature.  We provide the students with Kindles and all the ebooks and paperbacks that they need to read.

     Our English Language Learner program for adults has morphed this year into one for preschoolers.  Provided by Vicki Coronel, our VP of Activities and Programs and a retired ELL teacher, the program helps these children, while having snacks and fun, learning their numbers, letters and colors, to be better prepared to enter school.

     Thank you to Cathi Keene, Vice President of Finance, for keeping track of our finances again.

     Thank you to Alexandra Bernstein, Vice President of Public Relations, for a wealth of publicity on all our events and activities this year.

     Thank you to Vivian Green, VP of Grants and Fundraising and her helpers for making thank you and other beautiful cards for us, in addition to everything else she does for FL-WR.  We wish her a speedy recovery from her back injury.

     Thank you to Jessica Grinnell, VP of Information Technology, for maintaining our website and keeping our members informed by email and on all the social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, etc. – and wanting to stay with us even after she moved to the Island of Maui.

     Thank you to Sharon DeVries for letting us store all our gear and supplies in her garage.  It’s the first time we’ve had a place to keep everything together.

     Thank you to Kathleen McCann, our Secretary, who is leaving our Board of Directors, after serving for 4 years, for taking such good minutes and supporting all our activities again this year.

     And, finally, thank you to Lynne McLaren, Executive Vice President, who is also leaving our Board of Directors after serving for four years, for leading our meetings, and volunteering for so many tasks that need to get done.

Written by Ruth Bernstone, Past President

FL-WR Needs Your Support, Join Our Letter Writing Campaign!

Aloha Friends of FL-WR!

As you may know, the library for Waikoloa Region is moving ahead, and the State is presently working with the new Waikoloa shopping center developer to acquire 1.5-2 acres of land near the Post Office. The cost of the land acquisition will be approximately $1.6 million.

Rep. Cindy Evans, who has been key in keeping the project alive and active in the legislature, now needs our help to persuade the legislature to apportion funds to acquire the library site. Cindy would like to show strong support from the Waikoloa community in the form of letters from residents. FL-WR has been writing and collecting letters to send to Rep. Evans and we would very much like to include yours.

Would you please send a letter of support to Cindy so that she receives it by the end of the month?  You can download and print out this sample letter, drafted by Cindy’s office, or write a personal one if you prefer.

Send to:

Rep. Cindy Evans,
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 438
415 South Beretania St
Honolulu, HI 96813

You may also email a letter to her at – be sure to put Support for Library in the subject line.

FLWR Wins 3rd Place in Mauna Lani Charity Trees Competition 2017

FLWR members Vivian Green and Steve Jarvis stand next to the winning tree they helped decorate. (COURTESY PHOTO/FLWR)

Special Thanks to West Hawaii Today!

Friends of the Library — Waikoloa Region (FLWR) won third place prize in the Mauna Lani Charity Trees competition in late December. The theme of the entry was “Baby’s First Book.” Members Vivian Green and Steve Jarvis helped decorate the tree. First place went to VFW Auxiliary and second place to Waimea Arts Council.

FLWR gives every baby born at North Hawaii Community Hospital a copy by the book “On the Day You Were Born.”

It’s Time To Sign Up For The 8th Annual 5K Walk/Run!


Give Aloha for FLWR at Your Local Grocery Store for the Month of September!

Save the Date for Our 8th Annual Walk/Run for Literacy!


2017 President’s Report

Our current president, Ruth Bernstone, gave the following report at our general meeting:

2016 has come and gone, and as I went through the minutes, expertly prepared by our secretary Kathleen McCann, to refresh my memory, I was astounded at how many activities we participated in this year, and how many new volunteers we were able to attract who will contribute to our long term success.

In January, our own Representative Cindy Evans was awarded the Legislator of the year Award by the Friends of the Library of Hawaii and asked me to come and share this occasion with her. The Governor and Mrs. Ige were present, along with Stacey Aldrich and Keith Fujiyo from the State Librarian’s office, several legislators, Amy Asselbaye from the State Board of Education, and FLH affiliates. I was approached by many affiliates who wanted to learn all about our activities, and everyone was duly impressed! Even Nainoa, the Executive Director of FLH spoke of our organization as the most active in the state.

While the Bookmobile has become an institution in our neighborhood, and our dedicated volunteers (Derry Morris our chairwoman, Dan Reimer, Gloria and Larry Drinen, Melody Hills, Lynne Mclaren, Kaye Hegrenes and Elna Pendleton) keep the bookmobile looking topnotch every day, we have had our challenges this year with vandalism by some youngsters, including setting off fire extinguishers, scratching the woodwork with profanities, and generally making a mess. It’s a shame that respect for property is sometimes lacking, but we have decided to add a nanny cam to the bookmobile in order to try to prevent further damage. And, of course, regular maintenance is also required. Bette and Bob Green rotate the wheels on a regular basis, we repaired and repainted the pergola, replaced the battery and will be making repairs to the countertops and cushions in the near future as well. We are lucky to have Paula Kamiya, retired librarian to clean and organize the children’s books that are donated. And this year, we purchased books for the bookmobile for the first time in order to add books that encourage interest by girls in science and math.

This year, we continued our participation in programs such as Foodland’s Give Aloha in September and Amazon Smile, our co-sponsorship of the Waikoloa Talk Story nights, participation in the Mauna Lani Charity Trees event (we won second prize), the 5K Walk/run for Literacy chaired by Bette Green and Mali Mueller (116 participants), Silent Auction chaired by Cindy Kennedy and Stephanie Stearns (over 70 items), quilt drawing (thank you, Waikoloa Sew N Sews), the wonderful interactive Health Fair put together by Alexandra Bernstein, who also does P.R. for FL-WR, and sponsorship of our Newbery Quiz Bowl team. Thanks to all the many volunteers who are needed to make these events happen. And Chef Stephen and owner Abraham Go of Under the Bodhi Tree restaurant prepared another delicious fundraising dinner for us this November which sold out quickly. Financially, it was good year and we will have the funds we need to provide continuing literacy programs.

We purchased 10 more Kindle Fires for the Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School this year, a program arranged by Vivian Green, and are continuing discussions with both Waikoloa and Kealakehe High School librarians as to further contributions we can make to enhance their students access to ebooks and resource materials. We also purchased books for Waikoloa School that were missing for accompanying use with their audiobooks.

The Joseph E. Spadaro Memorial Scholarship is going strong, thanks to the generous support of Luella Spadaro and family. Our first student graduated last year with honors. We now have 2 students in their second year at Hawaii Community College at Hilo studying auto mechanics who will graduate in June and three students in their first year. In July, we had a get-together with students and their families at the Waikoloa Villas cabana. Their Kealakehe High School auto mechanics teacher, Chris Ibarra, a real mentor to these kids, also attended, as did Mary Spadaro, who talked about her father Joe. It gave the students an opportunity to share their experience with each other, and we enjoyed spending time getting to know them better too. And in March and April we will again be soliciting and reviewing more applications for students for the 2017-2018 school year.

As if they don’t do enough for our community, Luella Spadaro rewarded our board members with a great dinner in January. We all enjoyed the meal and the chance to socialize with each other. Luella celebrated her 98th birthday in February and enjoyed the flowers we sent her. I took the opportunity while I was in Honolulu in January to visit Luella at her assisted living facility. She invited Mike and I to join her and Mary for lunch while she told us stories of their 35 years living in Waikoloa.

We met several times for coffee with the outgoing and incoming presidents of the Honoka’a Friends when they came to Waikoloa for doctor appointments. They were very interested in our programs and these discussions led to a meeting in Hilo of all Big Island Friends which Alexandra and I attended and where we all had a chance to talk about our activities and challenges.

Thanks to volunteers Pat Cassel, Stephanie Stearns, Elna Pendleton, Shar Crawford, and Leann Cohen, we participated in the WV Ohanafest and gave away lots of children’s books.

We are in our second year of Baby’s First Book project, chaired by Mali Mueller, and thanks to a grant from Margaret Willi’s Discretionary Fund, we will continue to provide all newborns at NHCH with this beautiful book and get them started on a lifelong love of reading for another year.

This year we are again a sponsor of the Newbery Quiz Bowl, organized by our past school librarian Paula Kamiya, which will take place on March 29th at the Prince Hotel. We provide volunteers and this year we are excited to be sponsoring, along with a generous donor, the 2015 Newbery winning author, Kwame Alexander. His winning book, Crossover, is one of the 40 books the students will be reading this year, and he will act as Quizmaster. I’ve read the book and it is wonderful – full of rhythmic prose and an engaging story. We are also providing 100 student participants with a copy of his new book coming out in February called The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life, that will be signed by him. And we have a wonderful FL-WR team, led by our very own Lynne Mclaren.

We have been invited to participate in the Wiliwili Festival on January 28th. If anyone is interested in spearheading this effort and handing out pencils, bookmarks and books, please let us know and we can help recruit volunteers to assist you.

Today is a bittersweet day for me as I leave the office of the president and become a past-president on the FL-WR Board of Directors. I will continue as cochairwoman, along with Bette Green, of the scholarship program. I’m looking forward to having more time for cooking, baking, art, music and attention to good health, but it has been a real pleasure to work alongside so many wonderful volunteers – every one of whom contributes to our success each year.

We will miss Sandra Martin, who was our IT VP since we started and who is going off our BOD. She maintained our website, sent out our emails, taught us how to use the Square, and was always there when we needed her. But we are thrilled to have a new VP of IT and webmaster, Jessica Grinnell who will add her own talents and enthusiasm to our group.

We are also losing Mali Mueller, our VP of Programs and Activities for the last five years, and the organizer of our Baby’s First Book project. Another strong asset on our board of directors, we appreciated her professionalism, sense of humor and strong organizational skills, and hope that she will continue to volunteer as her time allows. Several people have indicated a willingness to help with the Baby’s First Book project and we are looking for a place to store the books beginning in February. Please let me know if you are interested in helping with the delivery of the books or of starting a new literacy project.

Thank you, Cathi Keene, Finance VP who has kept us on the financial straight and narrow for several years and Lynne Mclaren, our Executive VP, for continuing your participation on our Board.
And now, the plan was to present a musical trio of Kathy Fraser on cello, Marilyn Bernhardt on recorder and Brian Nakasone on guitar. Until, that is, Kathy broke 2 fingers this week! So instead, she will introduce Brian who will play us some guitar songs and we will play some of her recorded cello music while we enjoy cookies and sparkling cider.

Annual General Meeting Date

The FL-WR 7th annual general meeting will be held on Thursday, January 12, 2017 in the WVA community room by the WVA offices at 7:00 p.m. The general public is invited to come and hear our year in review by our President, Ruth Bernstone.

We will have some musical entertainment and cookies after the meeting.

Give Aloha in September

Please “Give Aloha” at Foodland, Sack N Save and Foodland Farms

September brings us a great opportunity to help Friends of the Library – Waikoloa Region (FL-WR).  We are participating again this year in Give Aloha, Foodland’s Annual Community Matching Gifts Program, under the code name Bookmobile-Waikoloa. This is the perfect time to join or renew your membership to FL-WR and have your donation increased by a matching contribution from Foodland and Western Union.  Just be sure to provide us with a copy of your receipt so that we can credit your membership.

And to celebrate the opening of their new store at Ala Moana Center, Foodland will also donate a portion of sales at any of their stores during the week of August 31 to September 6 to the Give Aloha matching gift fund, so the more you shop, the more FL-WR will receive!

How It Works
From September 1-30, customers are invited to make donations up to $249 (per organization, per person) to participating Hawaii non-profit organizations at checkout.  Individuals must use their Maika’i card to make a matching donation.  If you don’t have a Maika’i Card, you can sign up for one at the same time that you donate.  Foodland and the Western Union Foundation will match a portion of each donation up to $300,000.  Remember to keep the receipt for tax purposes.  Give Aloha donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

How to Donate
At checkout, present your Maika’i card (or give your 10-digit number) and tell the cashier how much you would like to donate to Bookmobile-Waikoloa.  Tell the cashier our code number: 78656. Be sure the cashier confirms our organization’s name and the amount that you are donating.

Your donation will be added to your grocery purchase total.  You may donate up to $249 per organization. (Higher amounts will not be matched.)

Any donation must be made payable to Foodland, Sack N Save or Foodland Farms. 

The name of our organization and the amount you donate will appear on your receipt. 

How Will My Donation be Matched?
Every year, the matching funds are shared with all participating organizations. The gift percentage varies and the actual matching gifts are calculated at the end of the program. Organizations will receive 100% of all customer donations given to their organization, plus their percentage of Foodland and the Western Union Foundation’s $300,000 matching gift.

Donor names will not be released to our organization.  If you would like us to know of your gift, please contact us directly or request a duplicate receipt from the cashier to provide to us so that we may properly acknowledge your gift.

Please take this opportunity to leverage your donation into more dollars for FLWR! Mahalo for your support! And check out our website at to see the activities we fund with your contributions.  We’ve added two new programs this year – Kindles for Waikoloa School and Kealekehe High School Library.

Save the Date for Our 7th Annual Walk/Run for Literacy

Save the date 2016-08-04

We will also have a free health fair and a silent auction!