Aunty Aloha pays annual visit to Kapaa

KAPA’A — When it comes to having fun, Pete Gallardo, director of the Garden Angels Kaua’i, has a lot of experience.

For years, his Wailua-based organization has been hosting the free Aunty Aloha Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Family Fun Day at Lydgate Park.

However, due to the contamination of the park during the recent rains, Gallardo said this year’s event will take place at the Kapa’a Beach Park located across the street from the M. Miura Store and Bubba Burgers.

“This actually is better for us,” Gallardo said while working with his martial-arts students and their parents in packing gift baskets that will be distributed at the event.

“The Big Kmart donated some of the big baskets for giveaways, so these will be used as prizes for some of the events,” Gallardo said.

Starting out as an Easter egg hunt for different age group children, the event has blossomed into a family-fun day with family-oriented activities and games to occupy the fourhour time slot from noon until around 4 p.m. this Sunday.

Some of those include a hulahoop competition, sack races, obstacle course, limbo, and a water-balloon toss. These competitions will start following the last egg hunt at 2 p.m.

The age-group Easter egg hunts will take place starting at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Additionally, the entertainment lineup includes a visit from Russell the Rooster from The Storybook Theatre of Hawaii, who will be making his way over from the Westside in search of the Easter bunny.

Kumu hula Leilani Rivera Bond will have some of her performers ready to follow.

Gallardo said they are still accepting offers to fill the afternoon with more entertainment.

One of the areas of growth has been the acquisition of waterslides and jumpers by the Garden Angels Kaua’i. These will be set up and available for youngsters to enjoy.

Additionally, “The Pony Man” will be offering pony rides for $4. This is one of the few items that has a price tag attached.

Along with those are a variety of activities in the keiki corner that include a balloonist, Easter tattoos, bean-bag toss, face-painting, a coloring contest, and the perennially favorite fish pond. The keiki corner is scheduled to run from noon to 2 p.m.

Gallardo said volunteers are needed to help run some of the many offerings for the community day, and he welcomes both members of groups as well as individuals who can spend a few hours helping other members of the community.

In addition to entertainment contribution, Gallardo said they are still seeking donations so more children and members of families are able to get prizes for their participation.

Garden Angels Kaua’i is a nonprofit organization whose leaders aim to teach the youth of Kaua’i self-awareness, respect for the community, and self-discipline through the fundamentals of martial arts.

For more information, or for contributions to the Aunty Aloha event, people may contact Gallardo at 635-7180.

I Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com.

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