Sunday, March 7, 2010


VICTOR PUNUA, JR., A man of all trades

Victor Punua Jr. voluntarily cooks for all the volunteers at Leeward Community College's free tax preparation program every Saturday. His spare ribs are of the "broke da mouth" quality and I'm sure more volunteers show up than would normally do so because of Victor's great cooking.

Victor has been volunteering at Leeward for a number of years. He calls Kauai home, where he was an agent in his dad's insurance business, Punua Insurance Agency. He has been commuting since becoming a student at Kapiolani Community College and then at West Oahu.

His presence gives volunteers like me a sense of security because of his expertise in tax matters as well as understanding computers and programs. Let me explain further.

When I was accepted as a volunteer, I was so elated that I immediately went out and bought green eyeshades, armbands to hold up my sleeves and short pencils. I wanted to look like an accountant.

Well dang! When I walked in, I was shocked that everything was computerized. No short pencils and certainly no green eyeshades. Having Victor there gives me the comfort in knowing that he can help me on tax rules as well as fixing computer software quirks that pop up from time to time.

The rest of the volunteers are not as inept as I am since they're young students who can zip around the computer and tax rules with ease. My advantage is that folks who look at me assume that because of my advanced age, I must know a lot.

The free tax program is sponsored by Aloha United Way, among other sponsors. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, (VITA) at Leeward is under the watchful eye of Professor Roy Kamida, a CPA. See his website for hours and guidelines for the free service.

Professor Roy... No green eyeshades, no armbands, no short pencils

Victor gives Professor Roy a secret weapon when recruiting and in keeping volunteers. Smart feller.

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