Tree lighting today

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Even Kirra gets in the act of decorating the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital courtyard, chasing down a plush Santa with the Rotary Club of Hanalei crew.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital resident Melody Pascual, foreground, enjoys her mid-morning snack while taking a break from craft-making with the Young Professional Network of the Kauai Board of Realtors.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Linda Inouye and Marissa Sandblom of Grove Farm add excitement by decorating a section of the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital courtyard for the tree-lighting celebration coming up today.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Erin Koshi and Emma Ladendecker of the Young Professionals Network of the Kauai Board of Realtors finish decorating a section of the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital courtyard in Kapaa, as residents look on.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Robin Bon of the Rotary Club is high in the kukui nut tree, fetching a set of bells to join the candy cane adornments in the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital courtyard in Kapaa.

Dennis Fujimoto

The Garden Island

KAPAA — The Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital courtyard is ready for today’s second annual tree lighting ceremony which takes place from 6 to 9 p.m.

The holiday event is free and open to the public.

“We want to give our residents the feeling of the holidays,” said Josie Pablo, the Mahelona Hospital recreation director.

“We invite everyone to help our residents ring in the holiday season. We’ll even have picture-taking with Santa.”

The courtyard will be lit up with thousands of Christmas lights and a Santa sleigh pulled by a pair of reindeer, which will be lit up with lights, that were created especially for the occasion by Jaime Pablo, Josie’s husband.

The Mahelona Hospital grounds crew, headed by Joe Arruda, was assisted by representatives of Deja Vu Surf Hawaii, the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay, the Rotary Club of Kapaa, the Grove Farm Company, the Mahelona Hospital Auxiliary and the Young Professionals Network from the Kauai Board of Realtors in getting the courtyard and hospital lit up for the holidays.

“Joe, Bruddah Martin, Brian Kame‘enui, Tony Bonilla, George Salvador and Victor Lozano have been working on this for weeks,” Pablo said. “They do a section here, and a section there, between their regular tasks.”

Melody Pascual, a Mahelona Hospital patient, relished the excitement of last week’s set-up.

“I just came back three days ago,” Pascual said, interrupting her craft-making with the Young Professional Network for a mid-morning snack. “I missed this place. It’s really good to be back.”

Entertainment at today’s event will be provided by the Kapaa Middle School Choir and Ukulele Band under the direction of Mary Lardizabal; Micah Saulibio, whose dad is a resident at Mahelona; and violinist Kimberly McDonough.

“The Showtime Characters will be making an appearance, there will be balloon fun with Tutu Debbie, a fish pond by the Grove Farm Co., and cookies and cocoa provided by the Rotary Club of Kapaa,” Pablo said. “Arnold Leong is doing his popcorn and cotton candy. We have the National Honor Society and the Interact Club from Kapaa High School helping, and it will be a lot of fun. This is the holidays.”

The lights will remain on in the courtyard area through the holidays for residents and visitors to enjoy.

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