Media release | McNeil Wilson Communications
April 13 “Breakfast with Bob” event united Hawaii residents in support of one another
Honolulu (April 21, 2011) — State Rep. Bob Herkes, 5th House District set out to raise awareness of the local impact of last month’s tsunami and ended up raising more than $50,000 for Red Cross Relief efforts in Hawaii at his April 13 “Breakfast with Bob” event at the Pacific Club.
Elected officials sat side by side with business and community leaders, filling the room. Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz spoke about the importance of Hawaii residents banding together to help each other in times of need. Hawaii Red Cross CEO, Coralie Matayoshi, gave an update on the ongoing relief efforts in the state and went on to acknowledge Hawaii’s spirit of aloha and the overwhelming support shown when others are in need, whether it be in Samoa, Haiti or Japan.
In addition, two Big Island residents recounted first-hand experiences from the tsunami. Cindy Coats, owner of Cindy Coates Gallery, painted the dramatic picture of irreplaceable original works of art destroyed by the waters. Dustin Ballesteros fought back tears as he shared a personal story of his return to shore after spending the night at sea in his ill father-in-law’s canoe and seeing houses and businesses destroyed, including the home of a close friend that was swept offshore.
“It is encouraging to see so many of my peers taking initiative and coming out to this event, which will provide funds to the American Red Cross for future relief efforts in Hawaii,” Herkes said. “We were truly fortunate this time and narrowly averted loss of life and an even worse tragedy in the Islands. But as the old saying goes, ‘When it comes to natural disasters, it’s not a question of if but when.’ ”