Band members return home after big trip

Members of the Kaua’i contingent of the Hawaii All-State Marching Band returned to Lihu’e Airport and their homes with their families last weekend, nearly 17 hours from the time they boarded buses in New Jersey.

It was a long trip to another climate and another world, but the ambassadors of aloha left a wonderful warmth in the hearts of all who were able to witness their performances last week in Washington, D.C. and New York City, parent chaperones said.

The day after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as the line of 14 buses was being loaded to take the students and their families into New York City for a day of sightseeing, one bus driver could be seen running from bus to bus with a videotape made by his wife of the band’s 75 seconds of history on NBC.

Cheers went up from each bus as the tape was played and the participants were able to see the fruits of their hard labor for the first time.

Was it worth the effort?

Oh yes, the Kauaians to a member said.

Besides the obvious benefits to the state’s public-relations and tourism promotion, there were many new friendships made, immeasurable growth from hardships overcome and fears conquered, innumerable educational opportunities and, most of all, lifelong memories created from a once-in-a-lifetime experience, they said.

The Kaua’i members of the Hawaii All-State Marching Band, who are students at Waimea, Kaua’i and Kapa’a high schools and Kaua’i Community College, wanted to thank representatives of the following companies who donated Kaua’i products for the band’s omiyage (gift) packages: Big Save, Inc., Kauai Coffee Company, County of Kaua’i Office of Economic Development, Aunty Lilikoi, and the Kajiwara Ohana.

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