By Sonia Isotov
On hearing how Maui Sun Divers owner Bobby Baker had recently given generously to a local Maui school, the owners of Upcountry Fitness were inspired to do the same for Haiku Elementary School.
On August 3, Haiku School Principal Bernice Takahata and staff members Deanna Kiersz, Holly Friberg, Lisa Daly, Lisa Callaci, Sandie Alexander, Cai Davis, Karen Figueira and Jennifer Oberg met at Office Max in Kahului for a whopping $6,000 shopping spree, with Upcountry Fitness General Manager Izaak Tyrrell happily observing from the sidelines.
“If an idea is good, it’s worth emulating,” said Izaak, in a written statement. “We send our maximum respect to Bobby Baker of Maui Sun Divers for coming up with a brilliant idea. We are pleased to support Haiku School in this way. It establishes a trend for Maui businesses to help our public schools get the materials the teachers need to educate our keiki.”
Office Max Store Manager Michael Mochizuki said that he had never seen anything like it before in his store as the teachers wheeled up numerous shopping carts to the check-out. It took over 30 minutes to process all of the items and the receipt was over 10 feet long.
Bernice Takahata, Principal of Haiku School, was so happy for her teachers and students. “Thank you to Upcountry Fitness for their support of our students and their needs. Their tremendous generosity means so much. I am overwhelmed, humbled, and honored that they shower us with their aloha for the keiki o ka aina. Their generosity and kindness encourage us to strive to be better than we were before.”
Special Education Teacher Cai Davis was in desperate need of a color printer. The one she had was barely functional and she had to push the paper in one sheet at a time to get it to go through. She got her wish on Friday and is now using her new printer.
“Please take time to thank Upcountry Fitness for their support of Haiku School,” said Cai. “We gathered at Office Max to fill up our baskets with the many things Haiku teachers needed for their classrooms. We are so blessed. It is great to live in such a supportive community.”
Lisa Daly, Curriculum Coordinator at Haiku School, and Sandie Alexander, Student Services Coordinator, gathered a multitude of requests from other teachers who could not make it to Office Max for the shopping spree.
Items on the list included printer ink, paper, construction paper, staplers, magnets, push pins, Velcro, hanging file folders, art paper, markers, surge protectors, large pencils, art supplies, index cards, pink erasers, pencil top erasers, manila folders, a cash box, and more.