Basketball tournament and training highlight D.A.R.E. conference

Six youth basketball teams from O’ahu, Big Island, Maui and Kaua’i traveled here to play the first-ever D.A.R.E. Hawai’i Spring Break Hoops Challenge Sunday, Monday and today.

At the same time, the Hawai’i Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Officers’ Association met for the 13th annual state training conference at the Kauai Coconut Beach Resort.

Monday’s events kicked off with a continental breakfast, color guard from the Waimea High School JROTC program and national anthem sung by Kapa’a High School student Stephanie Bond.

An energetic opening presentation included sign language done to the song “Proud to be an American” by ‘Ele’ele Elementary School 5th graders; the Kaua’i Dancers from Wilcox Elementary; Lasie Eto, a third grader at Wilcox School singing “Beauty and the Beast”; and the D.A.R.E. P.L.U.S. (Play and Learn Under Supervision) Hawai’i Cheerleaders from Big Island, led by coach Terri Tirrell, a junior at Hilo High School.

The basketball teams played in the tournament included East Kaua’i, Kane’ohe, Kohala Elementary School, Maui D.A.R.E. Team, Waiakeawaena Elementary School and West Kaua’i-‘Ele’ele School. All games were held at the Kaua’i High School gymnasium and Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.

Sgt. Coby Tatsuyama, the state D.A.R.E. coordinator, organized the D.A.R.E. Hawai’i Spring Break Hoops Challenge with help from police departments and D.A.R.E. officers on each island: Ron Kondo, Jr., Honolulu; Jon G. Morioka, Maui; Warren K. Shaw, Hawai’i; Jon Takamura, Kaua’i. The HDOA also partnered with the state Department of Education and Safe and Drug-Free Committee.

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