KAPA’A — There was a nip in the air from the winds blowing in off the ocean, and dark, threatening clouds hung over the Anahola mountains.
But the sun battled to shed its last bit of warmth in the late afternoon as members of the Ohana Christian Fellowship and Kapaa Assembly of God opened their doors to people who needed someone to share their Thanksgiving with, Saturday.
Pastor Matt Victor of Ohana Christian Fellowship, who along with his congregation of about 130 members hosted their sixth annual Thanksgiving meal at the Kapa’a Beach Park, this year adding a new feature — movies.
Victor explained that leaders of Kauai Island Ministries received a grant from the county’s anti-drug office, headed by Roy Nishida, for the hosting of the movies and other family-building activities, and Saturday night’s movies were their second offering this year in Kapa’a.
“We had one earlier, and about 300 people attended,” Victor said. “It was very successful. We were happy.”
Banking on this success, Victor decided to add it to their Thanksgiving-meal offering, resulting in the volunteers and members working to prepare for about 500 people.
“Last year we served over 300 meals, and this year, with the movies, we expect around 4-500 people,” Victor said. “We prepared enough (food) for over 500 people.”
Additionally, church members distributed fliers about the event in Hanama’ulu as well as in the Kapa’a area, hoping to inform people in those areas of the free event.
In addition to the free Thanksgiving meal, patrons could browse through a tent overflowing with clothes, shoes, toys, and other items.
“The members contribute the clothes and items,” Victor said. “We have a container in Nawiliwili where we store the contributions, and several times a year we have distributions for people who need them.”
As the sun began its descent behind the mountains, church members took to the stage to provide entertainment for the diners, while waiting for darkness to fall so the movies could begin.
Victor credits the success of this sixth annual offering to volunteers and leaders of community businesses.
“The members donate a lot,” he said. “The turkeys were donated, Kauai Producers gave the vegetables, Kauai Bakery gave us the buns, A&H Aki contributed the tables and benches.
“John Hashimoto of the King Kaumuali’i (Elementary School) cafeteria cooked the whole thing,” Victor said. “This year, too, we got help from the Kapaa Assembly of God Church.”
The Ohana Christian Fellowship members meet on Sundays at the Kapa’a Middle School, and, Victor said, “on any given Sunday, we have about 100 to 130 people in attendance.”
- Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or firstname.lastname@example.org