Hyatt volunteers help center


POSTED: Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The FORCE was with Waikiki Community Center when more than 40 managers from Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa and hotel contractors gave it a makeover.

Hyatt volunteers, who are part of the hotel's Family of Responsible and Caring Employees (FORCE) program, spent Saturday giving the center its first major overhaul in about a decade, said Joan Naguwa, executive director of the nonprofit Waikiki Community Center, which provides affordable day care for children, senior-citizen activities and assistance, and a variety of community services for Waikiki.

Volunteers gave the center “;an extreme paint-over”; and brought in contractors to make the center's auditorium lighting more efficient, tile a 900-square-foot room, power-wash and sand the buildings and begin prepping for a bathroom renovation, Naguwa said.

“;The work they did was worth thousands, and we couldn't have afforded to do it without the Hyatt's good graces,”; Naguwa said.

The center, which is open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., plays a pivotal role in the Waikiki community, she said.

“;Their generous support will go far,”; Naguwa said.

The event helped Hyatt managers fulfill the hotel chain's minimum 16-hour individual community service commitment as well as spruce up their neighborhood, said David Lewin, Hyatt's general manager, who also serves on the board of the Waikiki Community Center.

“;Hyatt employees strive to be good neighbors and active contributors to the communities in which we serve,”; Lewin said.

The recent renovation of the community center was Hyatt's largest community service event in terms of man-hours this year, he said.

“;We were delighted that our contractors were also willing and able to participate in this project,”; Lewin said.

Next up, an Aug. 28 dinner fundraiser for the Waikiki Community Center at the Waikiki Sheraton, Lewin said.

“;We want to encourage people to buy as many seats and tables as possible,”; he said.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with music and a Silent & Live Travel Auction. Individual seats sell for $150. Call 923-1830 to offer support or make reservations.