HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Volunteering is a legacy learned from his parents. Larry LaSota has made a difference by volunteering for countless hours on Kauai, rain or shine. These are just a couple of reasons he has distinguished himself as this year's Red Cross Kauai Volunteer of the Year.
"I was surprised and gratified it's been a year of hard work but I didn't know it would put me in that kind of condition i just looked it as doing my regular volunteer duty so I'm very proud of the fact that uh others thought it was worthy. "
He spends most of his time as the liaison for the Emergency Operations Center which means he has to respond in a moment's notice especially when there's severe weather. Often the shifts are long, 12 hours, for days at a time.
When the Hanalei river floods, he's there to open a shelter for anyone who is stranded by the high water in the area. Hurricane Darby made landfall as a tropical storm in July of 2016. There was so much rain, it flooded the H-1 at School street snarling traffic. Larry was on call on Kauai, making sure everyone was safe. After that , Larry took on a much larger role in promoting the chapter's centennial. That's when someone brought in a vintage Hurricane Iniki t-shirt from 1992 offering it for display in their archives. But Larry had a different idea.
"I walked in the next day and looked at this shirt and thought wow we ought to make these shirts up, sell them and raise some money."
The community went for it and here we are 3 generators later. Larry raised $2500 dollars to buy 3 new portable generators for the Red Cross Chapter on Kauai so they could serve the community even at the height of a storm. But that's not the only successful campaign Larry has spearheaded. Local media reported about his Home Fire Campaign...that offers free smoke detectors as well as the installation for families who don't have them.
"Everybody I see. I've told all my friends and the people who i see at the fairs that i see when we've gone out, sign up for smoke detectors. we are giving them away for crying out loud. "