By Sarah Liu, Miss Chinese Hawaii Princess (interviewed by Edmar “Izzy” Castillo)
Tell me about the volunteering event you and HCJ members completed.
The Tuxes and Tails event is one of the Hawaiian Humane Societies biggest fundraising event held annually. They invite many distinguished guests to partake in a variety of auctions to raise money.
What were you tasked to do at the event?
For this event HCJ and the Miss Chinatown Princesses were tasked with selling raffle tickets. There was 100 tickets we had to sell and we sold every single one! The raffle was for a two night stay at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel with complimentary strawberries and champagne waiting in the room for the winner. The winner also receives $200 food and beverage credit and dinner for two at the Azure restaurant.
What motivated you to volunteer with HCJ for this event?
I was motivated to volunteer for the event because I love animals and wanted to do a volunteer service geared towards helping them. I follow the HHS on Facebook and they posted about looking for groups of volunteers so I took a screenshot to ask if anyone wanted to join, but Danicia saw the same post actually beat me to the punch and reached out to me first.
What were your thoughts before the volunteering event?
Before this event, I thought we would be tasked to stay the entire duration and auction items or ask for monetary donations. They sent out an email detailing a lot of info with videos to watch so it was a little intimidating.
What were your thoughts during the volunteering event?
During the event, I thought it was pretty well organized. They had staff stationed around the hotel to direct volunteers where to go. Then they announced the groups of volunteers and what their tasks were. Everyone was delegated where to go and what to do. I was initially worried if we would be able to sell all the tickets since sales were slow in the beginning and we only had about two hours to sell 100 tickets.
What were your thoughts after the volunteering event?
After the event, I thought we did really well. We sold all the tickets before 7pm. Some guests even bought more than one ticket. Everyone worked really hard together and got the job done.
What accomplishments did you feel particularly proud of in that event?
Our biggest accomplishment was hustling Mayor Rick Blangiardi into buying TWO raffle tickets. Madisyn and I were partnered with different people, but we both saw the Mayor walk in and rushed towards him, hoping to make a sale. In the end, he bought two tickets- one for each of us. There was also a guest who bought one ticket from us, but when her two friends showed up afterwards, she pushed them to each buy a ticket as well. Jessica Jones (my sales partner) also sold the last three tickets!
What were you looking forward to for the event?
I looked forward to meeting and petting ALL of the dogs in attendance. There was three service dogs there as ambassadors to greet the guests. I was able to take a picture with all of the dogs and even hold them! There was one dog in particular I wanted to meet, Grits. He was the star of the night. Grits was there to find his ‘furever’ home and was walking into the event as we were leaving. I was able to pet him and take a picture with him. Unfortunately he did not find his furever home since I saw his photo a week after the event on Facebook where he is still looking for a family. I am really hopeful that he will get adopted though.