Peace is not a simple task

NUKOLI’I — Teens got a sense of connection, between the arts, county officials, and peace, as they all came together at the Kaua’i Peace Project and Children’s Health Fair & Symposium at the Kauai Beach Resorts (formerly the Radisson Kauai Beach Resort off Kuhio Highway near Hanama’ulu), one of the organizers said.

“The kids get it,” said Francesco Garripoli of Kahuna Valley, the nonprofit organization whose leaders and volunteers put the Kaua’i Peace Project together.

“They understand peace,” and in some real ways are teaching peaceful concepts to their parents, he said.

When children’s art and essay contest entries were displayed, some of the parents admitted they didn’t know their children felt that way, or would express themselves that way, in the contest with the theme “Peace From the Inside Out,” Garripoli said.

“Some of these kids are so amazing.”

Winners included Grecean Manuel (won an Ipod), Kaua’i High School, grade 12; Chanterelle Chantara, 13, (Jungle Waterfall Kayak Adventure), Princeville, home school (mentor Tammy Day); Max Miles, Kula High & Intermediate School (won a Pure Kaua’i body board), 10th grade, (mentor The Duke), for “My Inner Peace;” Asia Yomen (won portable Sony CD player), Kaua’i High School; Lianne Cacal (won a $50 gift certificate from Alexander Day Spa), 14, Waimea High School, from ‘Ele’ele.

Honorable mentions went to Kamoana Apana, Kilauea School; Krista Bolton, 9, Kapa’a Elementary School (her mom is her mentor); Beorn Chantara, 9, home school; Jeivin DeCosta-Mararagan, Kaua’i High School, grade 12; Maya Dikeman, 5, Kula Elementary School; Alea Gehrke, 16, home school; Hayden Hislop, Kula High & Intermediate School, seventh grade, for “My Peace Sign” (his mentor is his mom); Jaysha Hulama, 7, second grade, Koloa School (mentors are his mom, Uncle Mana, papa and grammy); Kalalea Ka’uhane, fifth grade, Kanuikapono Public Charter School; Sequoia Keech-Kritchman, 9, Kula Elementary School (mentor Tomas the Manny); Christy Mayfield, 13, Island School (her mentor is her sister); Noel, grade 11 (her last name is left out because she is in a foster home); Lauren Pang, 12, Kapa’a Middle School (her mentor is Ellison Onizuka); Charlene Joy P. Raposas, ninth grade, Kaua’i High School; Hannah Scoyni, Kula High & Intermediate School, 10th grade, for “Heart Defined” (her mentor is Frida Kahlo); Eden Sherman, seventh grade, Kula High & Intermediate School, for “Sunset Meditation” (mentor Bam Margera); Rebecca Tsubota, 11, Kilauea School (mentor Diane Tsubota); Nadja Von Zychlinsky, fifth grade, Kula Elementary School, for “The Sleeping Tree” (mentor Jane Goodall); Matthew Geimer, grade six, Kilauea School.

“It was a wonderful experience. Just watching so many kids enjoying themselves made it all worth-while,” Garripoli said.

“And I think it inspired a lot of people to take action, especially in our new Mentor Ohana program,

“We had a dozen people sign up to be mentors for our Kaua’i Teen Mentoring Program (a vocation/career oriented mentoring program), the second program joining Mason Chock’s Kaua’i Team Challenge Mentor Youth of Incarcerated Parents program, also under the umbrella of Mentor Ohana,” he continued.

Everyone, including top winners, received a gift bag filled with gifts and coupons from leaders of area businesses and Mainland corporations, such as DVDs and yoga mats for kids from Gaiam.

Also at the Kauai Beach Resorts, a stand of cattails stood peacefully in the canal across the parking lot from the hotel.

That stand apparently escaped the eyes of Jacqueline Kozak of the Kauai Invasive Species Committee (KISC), and Kristen Hall, the new field supervisor, who was just one of about 40 vendors who overflowed out of the ballroom of the Nukoli’i resort at the Peace Project Gala and Children’s Health Fair and Symposium.

“We’ll get on it right away,” Kozak said. The response to the sighting of an invasive plant to the tranquil Nukoli’i pastureland prompted Kozak to start the gears rolling in checking with their Lihu’e office starting Monday, and take the necessary steps to keep the area free of the invasive weed.

Kozak noted that every presentation was different, but had on hand a variety of literature as well as a stuffed mongoose that stopped a lot of passers by who wanted to know “What is a mongoose doing here?”

This was the response the KISC representatives wanted, as members of the public become the eyes and ears for the group’s members in reporting any sightings of invasive plants or animals.

Adjacent to the KISC table, a lightSOURCE table featured a variety of illuminated Sacred Geometry designs. “It enhances who I am,” said Jana, one patron.

Albert Lopez, who was manning that exhibit, pointed out that the product is made on Kaua’i, and was inspired by the beauty of the island.

Simply, the lightSOURCE with Hemi-Sync design combines ancient wisdom with new technology to help people focus, relax, and sleep better, Lopez explained. The Sacred Geometry experience helps to calm and relax and produces peaceful results, with leaders of some schools adopting the program designed by Michael Fienberg of Tetris fame.

For more detailed explanations, Lopez said people may call him at 821-8682, or visit the Web site at

The event that started Friday night with a concert by Makana (nearly 400 people attended) as a benefit for the Kahuna Valley’s Kaua’i Peace Project and the children’s art programs of the Garden Island Arts Council, spanned through Saturday night for an encore Makana concert.

Around 450 people took in the Saturday events, Garripoli estimated.

Nani Higa’s Halau Hula O Nani, Warren Dastrup and the All Saints Preschool Children’s Choir, and the Kapa’a Middle School Singers under the direction of Mary Lardizabal took the stage for Saturday night’s Kaua’i Peace Project Gala Music Event that was highlighted by the appearance of Malika Dudley, Miss Hawai’i 2005.

Special awards were given to Kaua’i peacemakers, and Makana performed again.

A steady stream of people took advantage of free health tests being administered by representatives of several community agencies, and many were enlightened by the full schedule of handson activities that dealt with recycling art, drumming, and healthy bodies anatomy.

The Kaua’i Peace Project is an on-going initiative aimed at empowering youngsters and inspiring them to build a more positive perspective of themselves, their family, and their world, Garripoli said.

  • For more information, people may visit the Web site at

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