Someone asked me as I stood amid the children scampering for and searching the mountain of stuffed animals, attached to a throw net, suspended from the ceiling, resembling a Christmas tree, “Looks like a lot of families came to Hali’i?”. I responded with “If only two families showed up, and this same sound of children’s laughter and excitement could be heard, this event would be a huge success. It is the sound of happiness and families in sinc with each other and their surroundings.
Hali’i Kalikimaka 2013 was a huge success, because our community families came with their keiki and enjoyed the simplicity of engagement, fellowship, fun and a lot of food. Our opening act on the main stage was the Hawaii Opera Theater, as their beautiful voices filled the festive atmosphere. We are very grateful to Eric Haines, Director of Education with the Hawaii Opera Theater for their support and partnership with our community.
We are grateful to Keiki O Ka Aina’s Momi Akana, Sonya and their families for their awesome contribution in our 11th hour, of wonderfully appreciated toys for our keiki. Papa Kalikimaka was blessed with healthy snacks, candies, gifts and family photo’s for everyone who joined us at Hali’i Kalikimaka 2013.
One of the many blessings that came to our community this year, in assist with this event, was AlohaCare. About mid year in 2013, we were contacted by Daryl Huff of AlohaCare, seeking partnerships within our community. Partnerships that involved engagement with our community of families. This meeting led to, a long term relationship with this health care organization between Blanche Pope Elementary school, Ho’olu’a and several key community members. The rest is, in part, History and the rest, the future of Waimanalo and healthier pathways.
The new collaboration with AlohaCare, was obvious at this years event with the appearance of such providers as Ke Ola Mamo (Health Care Connector), AlohaCare and their health care assistors, the Red Cross, and the many other health and wellness related providers from around the island. Services and information regarding SSI, SSDI, Medicaid, Medicare, Quest and health insurance were available at every turn.
Lomi and Massage was a busy area for the entire event, as Holly Viveiros provided soothing relief for may of our participants. The young navigators of the Hokule’a and the Polynesian Voyaging Society were a hit with families, as they gained a better understanding of the Hokule’a experience.
One of the many objectives of this years event was to highlight the start-up of the Pope Elementary school Parent Teachers Organization. With the kokua of emcc KutMaster Spaz, we were able to cast a huge light on their efforts to recruit members, and that they did.
Oh! did we mention gifts, prizes and treats? Our community benefited by just coming and sharing what Hali’i had to offer. This event highlighted the act, art and Kuleana of giving back to our community.
Mahalo nui loa Kakou to KutMaster Spaz and Kahu Paul Akau for their expertise in narrating the many activities of the evening. Special Mahalo to Grteen Screen Hawaii for the magnificent work in photo’s with Papa Kalikimaka. We were able to produce 500% more family photo’s at this years event, with their addition to our list of vendors.
In the main Library a new and exciting project got off the ground with the recording of our very own “Kupuna Living History Library”. As members from the Habilitat, under the direction of Jeff Nash, proceeded to gather interviews with our Waimanalo Kupuna, with our own Kawehi ‘Rita’ Kanui, Kahu Paul Akau and Kahu Roy Brooks as program moderators. This is a project that is being planned and implemented through the collaboration of Blanche Pope Elementary, Ho’olu’a and Ka Po’e Waimanalo, and the Habilitat . For more information and participation in this project, you may contact Unko Roy @ 699-5888, or through this website.
The event was a masterpiece in community, as the sounds of families engaging filled the night air. We received kokua from 135 volunteers. This is a record for Hali’i, and a testament to community and the life force of Aloha, that lives in all Hawaii and it’s people.
We give thanks to our Evangelical community for joining in unified blessing of this years Hali’i Kalikimaka. Mahalo to: Fr. Scott Bush of St. Georges Catholic Church; Fr. Peter Besenbruch of St. Mathews Episcopal Church Waimanalo; Pastor Fred Welsh of Joyful Community Church Waimanalo; Pastor Paul Akau of Kupuna Church Waimanalo; and Kahu Ka’ahele Roy Brooks Gathering Place Ministries for their event blessing. We are blessed to have Po’e on this journey, just po’e. People walking with people, sharing their light, warmth and goodness.
There are many organizations that we owe a great deal of gratitude to, for this years event. But, there remains only one mahalo, that will rise above and that is to Akua.
I will be posting photo’s of this years event in the next few days, but if anyone needs copies of photo’s with Papa Kalikimaka, please let me know and I can arrange to send you electronic copies of those photo’s.
We are blessed to be in your company and embrace O Waimanalo Po’e. Let’s do this elsewhere. For details on how this can occur in your community, contact Anakala Roy Brooks through this website or @ 699-5888.