Florida Keys Weekly

The Big Kahuna is a contest sponsored by the Marathon Business and Professional Women’s Club. Funds raised go toward adult and high school student scholarship programs as well as other community organizations. The Kahunas compete to see who can raise the most money by hosting parties, raffling prizes and soliciting private donations. The Big Kahuna is crowned at the annual Taste of the Islands set for Sunday, March 24 from noon to 4 p.m. at Key Colony Beach. Leading up to the crowning, the Weekly will publish the Kahuna bios. This week: Rachel Price. 

Rachel Price’s first foray into volunteerism came with teaching ballroom dancing to school age children.

“I went into it thinking ‘I can’t do this,’ and in the end came to realize that it was the most rewarding thing I had ever done,” she said. It was a tiny leap of faith from there, Rachel said, to volunteering as the 2013 Big Kahuna.

Rather than competing side-by-side, Rachel and Johnnie Darby (featured in last week’s Weekly) are running together – as opposed to against each other  to see how much they can raise for the Marathon Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) club. Rachel has been a member for two years.

“I’m a newbie in the club. And I’m just realizing how many worthy causes they support and how they give back to the community,” she said. “The BPW scholarships are very important. I won a scholarship for college supplies my freshman year of college and I know what a big difference it can make.”

Rachel and her mother, Janice, own the White Sands Inn on Grassy Key. She’s been living in the Middle Keys for 14 years, although she only intended to stay for one.

“After college, I told my mother I would help her for a year. I ended up loving the Florida Keys and I haven’t left,” she said.

In addition to working full time, raising money for BPW, and teaching ballroom dancing, Rachel also teaches ballet to adults twice a week at Body Language studios in Marathon. In her downtime, she pursues her art hobbies and rides horseback.

Rachel is raising Kahuna funds through the sale of raffle tickets. She has devised two packages. The first is a romantic weekend for a couple that includes a two-night stay at the White Sands Inn, a sunset cruise, dinner and a guided kayak tour. The other is a party package that includes a basket of liquor, the rental of a portable bar and cocktail tables, a bartender and a DJ for a two-hour party. Tickets are on sale for $5 each or $20 for six tickets. They are available around town at various businesses and also by call 305-731-6368.

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After bumping around the Western Hemisphere — Southern California, Central America, Northern Florida and now the Florida Keys — Weekly Newspapers Editor Sara Matthis is happy to have settled in the Florida Keys. Like many others, she came for the water but stayed because of the incredible island community. She's married and the mother of two girls. When her fingers aren't flying on the keyboard, she enjoys reading, bridge jumping, and beating her sister in sprint-distance triathlon races.

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