HELCO employees, other volunteers help keep baseball field safe for the keiki

  • Courtesy photo Employees with Hawaii Electric Light Co. and other community volunteers recently helped remove deteriorating poles and equipment at the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island baseball field in Hilo.

  • Courtesy photo HELCO employees remove a deteriorating pole from the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island baseball field in Hilo.

On Oct. 20, employees from Hawaii Electric Light Co. and other community organizations volunteered their time to help remove 11 old poles from the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island’s Hilo Club’s baseball fields.

BGCBI installed the poles and equipment to light the fields many years ago. With time, termite and dry rot damage caused a safety concern for the organization. The cost for removal was estimated at $70,000. As a struggling nonprofit, BGCBI could not afford this.

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Mahalo to HELCO employees Tad Araki, Chris Chun-Hoon, Peter Grace, Mike Kameoka, Kerry Kanakaole, Owen Kaneshiro, Garner Kelii, Joshua Lau, Bryan Lum, Dane Souza, Kyle Sugi, Jason Tanaka and Kevin Waltjen, who turned out in force to remove the deteriorating poles and equipment to make the fields safe for the organization’s keiki.

These volunteers generously gave up their Saturday to keep the area safe for youth activities. They worked nonstop for many hours in often torrential rains, using special equipment to safely remove the poles and prevent the equipment from leaking oil.

HELCO volunteers were supported by other community volunteers, along with BGCBI board members and staff.

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In addition to donating employees’ time, HELCO has contributed $100,000 to BGCBI’s Nutritional Supplementation Program, which provides daily healthy meals or snacks to youth members at all of the organization’s club sites.

For more than 65 years, Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island has been at the forefront of youth development. Its programs in Hilo, Keaau, Kealakehe, Pahala, Pahoa and Ocean View offer a safe, nurturing and fun environment for youth to participate in activities that inspire academic success, healthy lifestyles and leadership and character building.