It’s always nice to have a fun event to attend on a Saturday evening, and nicer still when it celebrates an awesome achievement and helps a worthy cause.
Considering that Puna is sorely lacking in access to timely and affordable health care, the achievement is that Puna Community Medical Center, the little 800 square foot urgent care clinic in the Pahoa Marketplace, is now marking 5 years of caring for the health of Puna residents: 12,000+ patients in more than 26,666 visits since February 2009; and as many as 500-600 patients every month. And all on a grassroots nonprofit’s shoestring budget! That is certainly cause for celebration.
The big event will be on Saturday, March 29th starting at 4:30 pm at the Akebono Theater in Pahoa. The keynote speaker will be Mayor Billy Kenoi, who has been a constant and generous supporter of PCMC from its very inception – and even before. Sen. Russell Ruderman, also a long-time supporter, will also attend and providelive music with El Leo – The Jarican Express, who will keep everyone upbeat with their katchi-katchi rhythms. Yes, you can dance – it will be hard not to.
Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant will provide a no-host bar with soft drinks, wine, beer and margaritas. Local restaurants will show off with their donated pupus, and Pookie’s Bakery will treat us all to their famous carrot cake birthday cake.
Another activity will be the silent auction. Many local artists have donated works of art, and there will also be plants and other goodies that the public can bid on – cash or checks only – no plastic. Here is an opportunity to add some unique beauty to your home space at a reasonable price with the added benefit of supporting a good cause. And the cause? The cause is to help support the operating expenses of the urgent care clinic, such as the computer upgrades that will be required under Obamacare, cost of medical supplies not covered by health insurance, and especially the Uninsured/Underinsured Fund. The latter allows PCMC to treat patients who could otherwise not afford to pay for their medical care.
Admission to the event is a $10 suggested tax-deductible donation. A larger donation will not be turned down. No advance ticket sales. Cash or check at the gate. And just like our clinic policy, no one will be turned away if they can’t pay. This is a community celebration, and YOU are personally invited. Mahalo.
(Submitted by Rene Siracusa.)