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Windward // Windward Oahu News
Carol Chang

Enterprising Kahuku.org Merchants Give Record Cash To School

Kahuku.org manager Alicia Esche displays the symbolic $34,000 from store profits to coach Reggie Torres and football team. Photo from KC Connors.

Kahuku.org manager Alicia Esche displays the symbolic $34,000 from store profits to coach Reggie Torres and football team. Photo from KC Connors.

Kahuku.org was on a roll last year with record profits – resulting in a record donation back to the school this fall.

Located on campus next to the library, the student-run store sells Red Raiders items online as well as in person and has been doing so since 2001 for the benefit of, well, everyone. For starters, the unique entrepreneurial program recently gave a check for $34,130 to the school, representing dedicated profits from 2012.

According to Kahuku.org manager Alicia Esche, there were three factors in the year of record sales: strong community sales, great new products and more student clubs as sales partners selling their own T-shirts and gear.

“The enthusiasm and attendance for our high school’s sporting events, especially football games, drove our apparel sales,” Esche said. “The day of any football game, the line at our school store has stretched out into the parking lot. And at the games, our Kahuku.org booth sales were phenomenal.”

Students who work at the store learn modern business skills, marketing, inventory, product design and display and much more. As interns, they also are paid by grants from nonprofits and by government work programs. Meanwhile, the Raider Nation is always thirsty for new ways to show its Kahuku pride, and the store stays stocked and ready for orders from near and far.

Kahuku Film Club also produced a promotional video on YouTube that shows KHS football star Kawehena Johnson endorsing the store. More such videos are in pre-production now, and mentor Don Sand called it a perfect learning vehicle. “Our film students learned about advertising and social media marketing,” he said. “Digital media skills are the NOW and the FUTURE of education, communication and business skills.”

Football coach Reggie Torres is a big fan as well. “The donations from Kahuku.org help us with our equipment, like refurbishing our football helmets. They help keep our players safe and allow us to suit up more players for our teams.”

Want a beanie, head band, T-shirt or license plate frame (all in bright red, of course)? It’s just as parent company Ko’olau Loa Educational Alliance intended more than a decade ago when it first assembled community support for the online experiment in e-tail enterprise. Visit kahuku.org now and support education.

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