Hyatt craft fair buzzes

PO’IPU — The first ball for the 23rd PGA Grand Slam of Golf has yet to be hit, but the atmosphere surrounding the Po’ipu Bay Golf Course was charged with excitement Sunday.

“I had to come for the craft fair, so I told them (leaders of the Grand Hyatt Regency at Po’ipu), to just add it on the agenda,” Stella Burgess of the Grand Hyatt said while fielding questions and helping customers with their purchases at the White Elephant Sale held by the Grand Hyatt.

The sale was intended to get rid of some of their merchandise as part of the upgrade to Grand Hyatt status.

“It’s a nice way to give back to the community,” Burgess said. “People need these things, and the prices are good.”

Bedspreads, linen, bathrobes, soaps, and gels were among the items being offered up to customers who hungrily grabbed bagfuls of items at bargain prices. Most of the items were gone within two hours of the doors opening.

“I was just shopping. Christmas is right around the corner,” Sandy Webster of Kalaheo said as she plopped her body onto a mountain of sacks containing bedspreads and sheets, tired of trying to tell people that those sacks were already sold.

“One for Kapa’a, one for O’ahu, and one for home,” Val Barretto-Oshita tallied as she added to her pile of purchases.

“I got two bags of sheets, and a case of gel,” Judy Ta’afuli, one of over 20 vendors said. “These will be going to villages in Samoa.”

Ta’afuli explained that a lot of her goods being sold come from Samoa where she is a member of the Women In Business organization there.

“Every time I make a trip there, I bring clothes for children. They really need them,” she said. Additionally, the coconut oil that she was offering for sale goes to benefit the women’s organization in Samoa, Ta’afuli said.

In addition to the items from Samoa and Hawai’i, Lupe’s Creations hosted by Lupe Silva had a variety of wreaths, ornaments, and an assortment of Tongan items.

Other items included “old time soda” that distributor Dorina San Augustine said uses real Maui cane sugar and can be found in only three outlets on the island: the Happy Kauaian gift shops, Guava Kai in Kilauea, and the Wine Garden in Puhi.

Her offering of soda in glass bottles went along with her neighbor’s offering of a variety of window decals that can either be used on building windows, or cars.

Silva, one of the instructors at the Kalaheo Senior Center, said she works with the kupuna to teach them how to recycle “trash,” the wreaths being made of items such as Norfolk pine needles, macadamia nut leaves, eucalyptus pods sprayed gold, and garnished with dots of hot wax and sparkles.

Shoppers were treated to the melodious music of Kahanulani Ali’i, a duo consisting of Elaine Watson and Haunani Kaui, who recently retired after 25 years of performing on the Celebrity Cruise Lines.

As the last strains of the old-style Hawaiian music faded, the pair of ladies stopped by to visit with Burgess. “Gotta go, now. We’re playing at a birthday party,” they said. “You know, real old style.”

  • Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) and e-mail

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