Hawaii fire relief efforts on Long Island


Aug. 9, 2023, was a tragic day for the island of Maui in Hawaii. Devastating fires resulted in the loss of 115 lives and destroyed homes, businesses, and cultural history.

The Bellport Rotary Club has organized a campaign to collect monetary donations to help those affected by this disastrous event. Donations will be sent to the Hawaii Community Foundation and the Rotary Club in Maui. These groups will help supply necessities such as food, water, supplies, and shelter to those in need.

Lorraine Kuehn, past president of the Rotary Club of Bellport and current assistant governor of Rotary District 7255, has been in contact with the Hawaii Community Foundation. As the wildfires in Maui began gaining attention worldwide, Kuehn noticed that only a few places on Long Island were doing any fundraising.

That was when she reached out to her fellow Rotarians, and they decided to do some form of fundraising. Even if they didn’t receive a lot of donations, anything was better than nothing.

“It’s something to let them [people in Maui] know that we care, and we hope that it will feed them or provide them with water in the immediate future,” Kuehn said. Additionally, she talked about her conversations with those in Hawaii, mentioning how happy and thankful they are that people from New York are helping to provide aid.

Kuehn feels that what Maui is experiencing hits close to home. She brings up the Pine Barren fires that affected Long Island in the ‘90s, and how devastating and frightening they were to watch. It really touched her heart to hear that the beautiful island of Maui has lost its culture, families, and homes.


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