Blessed to be a Rotarian/Lion as Pearl City and Aiea communities benefit from Saturday’s day of service

Feb 18, 2024 | PC Community

By Barry Villamil

Photos by Barry Villamil

As a proud Hawaii District 5000 Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Pearlridge (RCOP) and a member of the Hawaii Lions District 50 Mana Loa Nimitz Lions Club (MLNLC), I had a wonderful and very fulfilling opportunity Saturday morning to serve both the Aiea and Pearl City communities as a Rotarian and as a Lion.


The morning started out before the sun came up at 6:45am as Mana Loa Nimitz Lion community volunteers, led by MLNLC President Dexter Aoki, met up at Aiea Middle School for a workday project that involved cleaning up and beautifying (clearing overgrown grass and weeds) in the school’s aquaponic garden and surrounding landscape, as well as applying a fresh coat of brown paint on the school sidewalk railings in the area. Mahalo to MLNLC past President Wayne Suzuki for leading an amazing group of community volunteers from the Church of Latter Day Saints.

Mahalo to the MLNLC for their dedication to community service in the Aiea, Pearl City, and several communities across Oahu. MLNLC volunteers spend most Saturday’s helping with much needed clean-ups and beautification projects, and service projects that truly benefit the community.


I shifted gears from the MLNLC Aiea Middle School workday project and headed to the Pearl Harbor Bike Trail at 7:45am to meet up with my fellow Rotary Club of Pearlridge buddies, Dick (President) Lasar, Patrick, Ed, and Rick along with Pearl City High School Rotary Interact Club community volunteers led by Advisor/Teacher Mr. Dane Souza, and community volunteer Wil Chang whose daughter Kailie Matsuura-Chang is a 2023 Pearl City High School graduate.

We all joined forces to take part in the RCOP’s monthly Puuloa Springs Native Hawaiian Garden workday led by RCOP Community Service Chairperson/Treasurer and past RCOP President Lasar McCabe. The Puuloa Springs Native Hawaiian Garden is located near Blaisdell Park on the Pearl City side of the Pearl Harbor Bike Trail between the bike path and historic Pearl Harbor shoreline.

Saturday’s workday tasks included: laying down weed blocker material, clearing, cutting and digging out clumps (roots) of overgrown grass and weeds, cutting and clearing tree branches, picking up rubbish along the Pearl Harbor Bike Trail, bagging all green waste and rubbish, and carrying out all the bags to Blaisdell Park for pick up by the City and County of Honolulu.

The RCOP Puuloa Springs and Native Hawaiian Graden looks great with several, beautiful native Hawaiian plants taking root and thriving, with many of the plants cultivated and brought to the garden and hand planted by Lasar McCabe and her husband Patrick.  

The Pearl City High School Rotary Interact Club, Highlands Intermediate School Rotary Interact Club, Cross Academy School Rotary Interact Club, community organizations, and other community volunteers have put their heart and soul in support of the Puuloa Springs Native Hawaiian Garden Project the past three years while their hard work and commitment shines amongst the historic Pearl Harbor view and shoreline.

Mahalo to Mana Loa Nimitz Lions Club community volunteers who have also spent many hours and continue to volunteer at the Puuloa Springs Native Hawaiian Garden working alongside Rotary Club of Pearlridge, RCOP Interact Clubs, and all community volunteers. Their combined efforts and contributions towards a green and sustainable future while beautifying the environment through the spirit of the Hawaiian culture for all to enjoy is pure Aloha.

Proud to be a ROTARIAN AND LION!

Patrick pictured taking a break to enjoy the Pearl Harbor view!