Kapa’a parents serve up help for tennis team

KAPA’A — When there’s a need, there’s always a way to help out.

That’s the stance Kapa’a High School tennis parents took when coach Jon Tom broke the news about his team’s fundraising efforts falling short of actual costs for the planned preseason trip in early February.

“Our parent booster club has always been very supportive, but this year they took it to another level. We’re a well-oiled machine because of them,” Tom said.

After letting his players know about the shortfall at the next day’s practice, he set up a meeting with tennis club officers, which led to a monetary donation of almost $5,000.

Angel Hernandez, a player on the squad immediately presented two checks ($1,000 from his mom, Marlina Diaz and $1,500 from Richard Leibow), along with another promise of a donation of $1,000 from Michael Guilbeault. All three individuals represent Approved Mortgage.

“Our shortfall was covered and 23 players and three chaperones went on the trip,” Tom wrote in his letter to the team that he distributed at a short ceremony at the Kapa’a Tennis Courts, yesterday.

Tom also noted other helpful instances where parents gave in other ways, which included Kevin and Sandy O’Shaughnessy, who solicited their employers at Vision Properties to contribute to the team. Kevin in turn, matched his employer’s donation.

Also, Clement Esaki, as the team’s booster club president, knew of the constraints of the group and helped ease the financial burden for the trip by paying for the omiyage, which were given to the other participating schools of the preseason tournament.

Tom also acknowledged the dedication and hard work to help out the team by Napela and Beverly Napoleon.

“They are model parents for youths in athletics, always there supporting their child and the program without (much) criticism. Coach inquired of Napela (Gaspro employee) of the cost of a tent (and the) next night, Napela drops off a tent for the team at the coach’s house,” Tom wrote.

Other donations included $180 from Ron Fleet (Vision Properties) and the 12×12 pop-up tent from the Napoleons.

Kapa’a’s tennis team has been participating in at least one pre-season trip for awhile and this one might be the most cherished experience.

“It would be disappointing if we didn’t go. We get to challenge people we don’t know and we can also experience other schools and islands,” Kapa’a number-one girls singles player Lyndsey Tom said.

“It’s (the trip) good for team- building. It broke the cliques we had on our team,” captain Kelli Okamoto said.

At the short ceremony, Okamoto furnished the letters and Crystine “Judge” Ito supplied the lei, along with help from Steve Pascual.

Kapa’a closes out its regular season on Saturday against Kula at 2 p.m. (Kiahuna Tennis Courts).

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