Kauai United Way benefits from picks contest

Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s Marlene Matutino proved that successfully picking football winners requires absolutely no knowledge of the sport.

Thanks to Matutino and her television team counterparts, the Kauai United Way received $500 for winning The Garden Island’s 2nd Annual Gridiron Challenge.

“I don’t think I could’ve done it without the help I got from the men in my family,” Matutino said.

After taking the lead at the midpoint of the season, Wala’au’s Dickie “Da Wizard” Chang basically handed the torch over to Matutino, by foolishly picking Seattle in the Superbowl.

Matutino, who completed her very first season in the challenge, was able to get the closest combined Superbowl score, while picking Pittsburgh, to over-take the “Changmeister.”

Another first time participant, Wala’au videographer Bruce “Da Juice” Smalling helped the TV squad nail down the first-place slot.

The Kauai United Way’s executive director Scott Giarman felt extremely happy with the donation, which will be used to fund 25 of their agencies.

“We’re grateful to Dickie, Bruce, and Marlene for thinking about us. When someone is thinking about doing something great for Kaua’i, they should definitely think about the Kauai United Way,” Giarman noted.

Throughout the season, panelists fought hard to get to the top, but in the end, the fight was for charity, which made it well worth it.

KONG’s Ron Wiley (minus his dog Elvis) sputtered near the top, but couldn’t find the right mixture of picks to rise above the rest (the new pup seemed to help a little).

The Surf’s Shelly Cobb had her moments and so did The Garden Island’s Paul C. Curtis, who led the newspaper team throughout the early parts of the season.

David “Mr. Raider” Bice tried to go with his Oakland Raiders, but they let him down every time he chose them. Bice had a shot to win in the end, but his total Superbowl score was a bit too high.

And let us not forget our last-place finisher, The Garden Island’s publisher Shanna “All Business” Pollard, who started off the season red-hot, with a 9-1 showing.

But it was all downhill after that for the California transplant (she’s a huge Dodgers fan!).

All in all, the panelists had fun, especially since the end result would benefit a local charity, which in this year’s case, is the Kauai United Way.

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