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Kau Kau cook is honored for service


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POSTED: Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sharon Black received the President's Volunteer Service Award for feeding the homeless from her Kau Kau Wagon for more than 20 years in downtown Honolulu.

Black received the Gold Award for more than 500 hours of service, thus living out her childhood dream "that I was going to make a difference" to people in need, she said.

The award was presented yesterday by Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona at the state Capitol.

Two of her outstanding volunteers - Chief Warrant Officer 2nd Class Fitzroy Smith and Staff Sgt. Jonathan Ofori of the Central Pacific Veterinary Command at Fort Shafter - were given the Bronze Award for putting in more than 100 hours.

Every Saturday hundreds line up at her Kau Kau Wagon at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park (formerly Chinatown Gateway Park).

U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo nominated Black and her volunteers for the awards.

"This award is all of ours - every single volunteer who gives his time, energy and commitment to make it happen. It's 100 percent shared," said Black.

She insisted on including her three Great Danes among her helpers because "they make people smile" around the Kau Kau Wagon and at the senior centers they visit every week.

Black launched her mission with her son's little red wagon, but now churches and friends help provide food and other donations.

The President's Volunteer Service Award was created in 2003 by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.