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Roping in donations

<p>Lava Rock Realty is taking donations for the Hamakua Youth Organization in Honokaa, at their office in Waimea and also at the Parker Ranch July 4 Rodeo. Pictured is Peggy Yuan, owner of Lava Rock Realty and Naome Coloma, realtor with Lava Rock Realty. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)</p>

Lava Rock Realty is taking donations for the Hamakua Youth Organization in Honokaa, at their office in Waimea and also at the Parker Ranch July 4 Rodeo. Pictured is Peggy Yuan, owner of Lava Rock Realty and Naome Coloma, realtor with Lava Rock Realty. (PHOTO BY LISA M. DAHM| NHN)

Going to the rodeo? Don’t forget the rice and saimin. Lava Rock Realty will be collecting donations again this year for the Hamakua Youth Center at the Parker Ranch rodeo, July 4.

“There is big, huge teamwork with the Parker Ranch rodeo,” said Peggy Yuan, owner of Lava Rock Realty. “We try to support what the community needs. The Youth Center is very appreciative of the donations, and this is our next generation; we need to support them.”

This is Lava Rock’s third annual fundraiser. Last year, they shifted their attention from the Hawaii Food Bank in Hilo, and turned over their food drive efforts to the Hamakua Youth Center, a non-profit program that provides after-school support for kids in need. The center provides kids with a place to stay after school and a hot meal they might not get at home. The HYC also provides tutoring, homework help, computer access and cultural activities in a fun, family-style environment. It is a free program for youth between the ages of 5 and 18.

At this year’s rodeo, kids and representatives from the Hamakua Youth Center will be on hand taking donations at the Lava Rock Realty booth, as well as selling bottled water for a $1 donation. Last year, sales were swift with rodeo goers eager to contribute.

“Most of the time people would say ‘Oh, if I would have known I would have brought something,’” Yuan said.

What to donate?

“These are kids so whatever kids would eat — rice, canned soup, saimin,” Yuan said.

Lava Rock is also working with local farmers to get fruits and vegetables to the kids as well.

“We’re trying to get healthy stuff too,” said Brandon Hickman, one of the company’s realtors, suggesting donations such as juices and easy to eat snacks like musubi. “It takes a lot of people to keep the program running. It’s nice to know there are such good people out there.”

Monetary donations are always accepted as well, and Lava Rock takes donations at the their office throughout the month of June. So far this year, donations are in the hundreds of dollars. Last year, Lava Rock raised about $500 in food and monetary donations for the Center.

The Lava Rock Realty booth will be easy to find at the rodeo.

“You can’t miss us. We’re always the first one. They always put us at the far end by the parking area,” Yuan said, adding “We won’t be intimidating anyone with realty information, this is in support of the community.”

Lava Rock Realty will be at the rodeo all day July fourth. They also take donations every year during the month of June, with drop-off at their office in Waimea. For more information call 887-2500. Donations can also be made directly on the Youth Center’s website, hamakuayouthcenter.wordpress.com.