‘Point of Light’ shines on Big Island

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There’s a “Point of Light” in East Hawaii, and her name is Bond — Suzi Bond.

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There’s a “Point of Light” in East Hawaii, and her name is Bond — Suzi Bond.

The president of the United States himself thanked Bond her for her service to the community after Tropical Storm Iselle struck the Big Island in August 2014.

Bond, executive director of the Kilauea Drama and Entertainment Network, also serves as vice chairwoman of the East Hawaii Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster chapter. In that role, which consumed her life last August and September, she coordinated the arrival and deployment of VOAD partners assisting after the storm.

Working in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense and Hawaii Island United Way, Bond put members of the partner Southern Baptist Disaster Relief group in the hardest-hit communities.

For her tireless response and recovery efforts and more than 300 hours of volunteer service, Bond was presented a President’s Volunteer Service Award — Silver on Aug. 25 during a VOAD chapter meeting at Catholic Charities in Hilo.

Michael Kern, Federal Emergency Management Agency volunteer agency liaison, submitted Bond for the award. The award is from the Corporation for National and Community Services in honor and appreciation for the recipient’s commitment “to strengthen our nation and communities through volunteer service.”

It came with a letter signed by President Barack Obama, and the bottom of the certificate designates the Hawaiian Paradise Park resident as a “Point of Light.”

“VOAD is there to help with the four C’s: coordination, collaboration, cooperation and communication,” said Bond, who’s been with the agency nearly six years.

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The organization first appeared on her radar after the 6.7-magnitude earthquake rocked Hawaii in October 2006 and she met responders assisting in the aftermath.

Being involved with VOAD “is a great way to get to know a lot of people who are active in the recovery phase of disasters,” Bond said. “It’s rewarding to see we could make a small difference, even just getting people out of their driveway.”

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