Tag Archives: Zonta Club of Hilo

Denim Day at hit at Prosecutor’s Office

Zonta Hilo joins Prosecutor's office in sporting denim.

Wow! the Hawaii County Prosecutor’s Office really got into wearing jeans today

(International Denim Day) as part of the overall support for Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Month.

Zonta Club of Hilo approached Charlene Iboshi, good Zonta friend, who is acting Prosecutor, and she gave her OK for the team to wear denim.

Check out the news release on Zonta Club of Hilo’s website….  http://www.zontahilo.com/announcing/denimday


April: Officer Elections; Victim Awareness

At its regular monthly meeting, Zonta Club of Hilo elected a slate of officers for the next biennium which begins June 1.

Barbara A. Hastings was elected president; Janice Higashi, first vice president; Sheila Evans, secretary; Jan Haraguchi-Abundo and Karolyn Lundkvist, directors.  Ellen Aoki,  second vp and director Bev McCall remain on the board.  Bonnie Geiger will fill the unexpired treasurer post.

Terri Lum, Kathleen Nielsen, Lisa Faulkner Inouye and Phyllis Shinno at April meeting. Lum and Inouye spoke on victim awareness.

As part of National Child Abuse Awareness Month, National Crime Victim Rights Week and Sexual Assault Awareness Month,  Zonta Club of Hilo hear from
Lisa Faulkner Inouye who spoke about the development of the County of Hawai’i Office of the Prosecuting Attorney’s federally funded project to develop a “Comprehensive Strategy for Juvenile Justice.”  Over 100 persons from across the Island convened to help develop this community-driven plan.

One of the outcomes of this effort was the determination of Four Priority Risk Factors faced by Hawai’i County youth:  Availability of Drugs, Family Management, Family Conflict, and Early and Persistent Anti-Social Behavior.  These Risk Factors are the focus of community efforts to reduce juvenile delinquency in Hawai’i County, and remain the guideposts for the Prosecutor’s Office involvement in prevention and education activities.

The group also heard form Terri Lum, Director of the East Hawaii Children’s Justice Center addressed the history and development of Children’s Justice Centers across the nation and in Hawaii, and the need for a safe place for child victims of sexual assault, severe physical violence and child witnesses to crime to be able to talk about what happened.

She described the Center’s operations and the community and agency involvement that helps to keep the Center going, and the sad fact that sexual assaults continue to occur, that children are often victims of someone they know, and that there continues to be a need for places like the CJC.

The next meeting is May 9, 5 p.m. fellowship; 5:30 meeting starts.  Installation of officers; Guest Speaker, noted Honolulu volunteer and medical missionary, Nancy Pace, M.D.

Note: On April 23, Zonta Club of Hilo will do its annual Weinberg Friends project, supporting Neighborhood Place of Puna.

Zonta Hilo Hears about Heifer International

When women around the world have control of income, it tends to be used for the family,” said Wendy Peskin, who worked as a fundraiser for Heifer International. When men have economic control “it’s not that way.”

Heifer International works mostly with women in rural areas, often where men are absent.  Its mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty


Peskin talks about international self reliance.


and to care for the earth. Beginning with heifers more than 60 years ago, the group has branched out to many types of animals and been providing families with a source of food and training, rather than short-term relief. Millions of people in 128 countries have benefits from these gifts that promote self reliance.

“Pass on the gift,” Peskin said, is a cornerstone of the Heifer program.  “If you get a cow, the first calf must be raised and passed on,” she said.  Generations and generations of animals have been passed along, “that has an enormous multiplying effect.”

It also has the effect of giving a poor person the dignity to pass on athe gift to someone else, she said.

Heifer International does not send people into the countries to handle the training and gifts.  “They hire people in the area,” Peskin said.  When a village woman exhibits leadership skills, Heifer is likely to train her as a para-veterinarian so she can serve her community.

Peskin said when a woman has an income, its likely she will no longer uffer at the hands of an abusive husband. Often, she said, the woman’s initiative creates meaningful work for her husband in tending the food crops sustained by the gift animal.

Part of the Heifer training, she added, is centered around issues of gender.  Frequently men are victims of their cultural milieu.  During gender workshops, the men and women detail their day’s activities.  The men are often surprised by what the women do.

Heifer also promotes sending girls to school through a “girl child education fund.”

Go to heifer.org to see how you can help with a gift as small as $10.

Zonta Club of Hilo Inducts New Members


Nagao, McCall and Aoki


Bev McCall, elementary school principal, pictured here with Irene Nagao and Ellen Aoki, was inducted into the Zonta Club of Hilo at the October program meeting.  At the September meeting, Jan Haraguchi-Abundo, a sales promotion officer, was inducted.

The inductions are part of Zonta Club of Hiloʻs membership drive.

Rowena Loo, a Hilo Zonta founder, passes

Rowena Mae Busse Loo, a founding member of the Zonta Club of Hilo in 1950, passed away peacefully on Tuesday evening, June 29, 2010.  She was 90 years old.

Rowena Loo

Rowena’s life should stand as a model for triumph over hardship.

Born on October 30, 1919 in Coer d’Alene, Idaho, Rowena was the older of two children (younger brother William) of Henry and Effie Busse.  Rowena experienced a difficult life in her growing-up years as her father relocated his family often in pursuit of employment in order to support his family.  But times were bleak and to survive, Rowena recalled that she and her brother often helped themselves to potatoes, chickens and eggs from their neighbors’ fields.

Her mother, engaged in an illegal activity during the Prohibition, wound up in jail where she later died of complications from appendicitis.  Her father, a broken man, vanished with Rowena’s younger brother and left her with an aunt who was unable to care for her.

Rowena ended up at a Salvation Army GIrls’ Home, which provided her with a more stable environment –  schooling and an education that resulted in a nursing career.  Rowena’s love of music led her to sing in the Salvation Army choir and provided her with the opportunity to play the cornet and alto horn, an instrument she cherished and kept to her dying days.

Rowena applied for and was accepted for the position of live-in nurse at the Salvation Army’s Girls’ Home in Hilo, Hawaii in 1946; she arrived in Hilo by ship. She immediately made a mark, helping her charges at the Girls’ Home.  On one occasion while taking one of the girls who became ill to the Hilo Hospital, Rowena had a chance encounter with Dr. Walter Loo.  After a courtship, not without complications, they were married and raised five children – two of whom live in Hilo, two in California and one son who predeceased his parents a few years ago.

Rowena’s 60-year involvement in the Zonta Club of Hilo was full, taking on various committee assignments and supporting the mission of advancing the status of women locally and internationally.  She was honored at the Zonta International District 9 Conference in September 2007 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel during the welcome reception and “Hoike”.

Rowena attended all club meetings to the extent that her health allowed (she recovered from a heart operation in her later years), faced carefully made up, dressed comfortably in her muumuu and hair coiffed with a red streak in her forelocks, even after her mobility was reduced to confinement in a wheelchair.  But how she loved the club’s yearly Holiday Dinner and Auction!  She delighted in donating mementos from her past and invited her entire “ohana” or caregiver’s family to the occasion – all who lovingly called her “popo” (Chinese for grandmother).

Her quiet presence and frail voice will be missed by the Zonta Club of Hilo as members will bid Rowena good-bye at a memorial service which will be held on Saturday, July 17, 2010 at Dodo Mortuary Chapel.

Helene Hale to receive Zonta Rose Award

Helene Hale, center, with Hilo Zontians Julie Tulang, left, and Mele Spencer, right.

HILO, HI, February 8, 2010 — In recognition of United Nations International Woman’s Day, the Zonta Club of Hilo will present its Rose Award to Helene Hale for her lifetime of service as an elected official representing Hawaii County.

Ms. Hale, 91, will receive the award at a dinner sponsored by the Zontians March 8, 5:30 p.m. at the Naniloa Hotel Sandalwood Room.

“Helene Hale epitomizes both the struggle and achievements we seek to emphasize,” said Hilo Zonta Club president, Kathleen Nielsen. “She holds a history of firsts and proves there are no boundaries for women.”

Ms. Hale came to the Big Island in 1947 and was elected to the Board of Supervisors (predecessor to the County Council) in 1955.  By 1962, she was elected Chairman, which was the equivalent of Mayor.  This made Hale the first woman to hold an executive office in Hawaii government since the reign of Queen Liliuokalani.

She was also the first African-American to hold elected office in Hawaii.

More recently, Ms. Hale is best remembered for her service in the state House of Representatives as a dogged legislator from the Puna district.  She’s been honored with the Pahoa School gymnasium being named after her, since she fought zealously to get it started, some 37 years after the state first promised it.

Ms. Hale is an avowed internationalist; she started the United Nations Association Chapter here and went to Beijing in the ‘90s with the League of Women Voters to participate in the U.N. Forum on Women.

“I’m basically an educator,” she said, and so was instrumental in the Model U.N. here.  While she is a committed Democrat, Ms. Hale gives Gov. Linda Lingle great credit for having an international outlook.

“Hawaii has something to offer the whole world,” she said. “The aloha spirit.  We could teach them an awful lot about how to get along.  That’s because of the Hawaiian culture.”

Ms. Hale said that women still have a long way to go.  “Back in the ‘20s, when we first got the vote, they said things would change;” except for pockets, they really haven’t, she said.

“The U.S. is one of the very few countries in the world” that hasn’t adopted a statement on equality for women, she said.  The U.S. is one of the few that hasn’t ratified the United Nations’ “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.”

The dinner to honor Ms. Hale is open to the public, with reservations.  There is a $27 fee for dinner.  For information, contact Julie Tulang at jtulang@hawaii.rr.com or at 969-1601.

The Zonta Club of Hilo is part of Zonta International whose mission is to advance the status of women worldwide.  The Hilo Club does this through service, fundraising and fellowship.


Hilo Zontians complete 2-year service project

More than 25 Hilo Zontians and friends spent a morning of service at the shelter. Of course, not all stayed for the photo!

More than 25 Hilo Zontians and friends spent a morning of service at the shelter. Of course, not all stayed for the photo!

During its biennium 2007-09, Zonta Club of Hilo adopted the Hale Ohana Domestic Abuse Shelter in Hilo.  This two year intense service followed two earlier projects at the shelter.  The biennium service included hands-on work at the facility, donating sturdy chairs and other household items, and “Restart Kits” for families forced to start over with no household essentials.

Zonta Club is also provided packs of undergarments for women, boys and girls, since the families often escape with nothing.

The hands on work netted a $10,000 Harry and Jeanette Weinberg grant for the facility.  It is the fourth time in six years that Zontians earned a Weinberg grant for the shelter.

Sherry Bracken reported on it for Hawaii Public Radio.  Listen here :


There was also a story and photos in the Hawaii Tribune Herald here: