Hokuau stars need help to shine

LIHU‘E — Tina Moger was not in her element Saturday.

Neither were Poerava Gantt and Crystine Ito.

The girls were part of an all-star volleyball team assembled by coaches of Hokuau Volleyball Club.

On Saturday, Moger was working alongside parent volunteers of the club, while Gantt and Ito were tending to little children in the child-care section of the Home Prepare Fair.

“We knew they needed funds, so we let them take charge of the child-care section as well as offer food for sale,” said Karen Taketa, the event coordinator with the Contractors Association of Kaua‘i.

The funds are going to be used to send the team to the 2006 National Volleyball Festival in Reno, Nevada, which runs from June 23 to July 1, said Regina Carvalho, fund-raising chair for Hokuao in a press release.

Team members from this all-star squad hail from all of Kaua‘i’s high schools, and will be competing in the women’s 18-and-under age-group division.

“These women have shown exemplary excellence in the sport of volleyball,” Carvalho said.

Joan Kealalio, Hokuau’s team mom, agreed, noting that these girls will be going up against some tough teams from around the country in the tournament.

To further help raise funds, Kealalio said the girls will be hosting a fund-raising bowling party on May 13 at the Lihue Bowling Center, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The goal of the Hokuau organization is to seek a contribution of $375 per lane.

This contribution will provide the donor with a three-hour bowling party for up to six people. The contribution also includes rental shoes, live DJ music, lights, and refreshments.

A banner with the name of the company, or donor, will be displayed above the sponsored lane for at least four weeks.

A silent auction will be available for people to bid on items as well.

No-host cocktails will also be available in an air-conditioned, non-smoking environment.

“Our team looks forward to meeting all of you at this event, and please be assured that your support is truly appreciated,” Carvalho said. “We are proud of these young women, and they are looking forward to representing our island with pride and aloha.”

For more information, or to make a contribution, contact Carvalho at 822-7066.

Team members currently on the squad include Joliann Arzadon, Brittney Carvalho, Gantt, Malianna Hamada, Ito, Taira “Banana” Kajiwara, Moger, Leisha Moniz, and Mailika Napoleon.

Hokuau was chartered in 1987, starting with three girls’ teams, ages 12, 14 and 16.

Boys became part of the team in 1989, and still have players as young as 12 years old, Kealalio said. “We won’t mention how old some of the other players are.”

Kealalio, whose son Kaipo Kealalio III is one of the team coaches, said, “Our mission is to help youngsters understand the importance of education. If volleyball can help them stay on track and excel in the sport and education, we have succeeded.

“We’ve had a lot more than a handful play volleyball at the college level,” Kealalio said. “What we are even prouder of is that they also graduate from college, some of them coming back to show the younger ones that it can be done if they work hard, set their goals, and follow their dreams.

“It is awesome how many have come through the program, some for just a short while, and others for over 10 years,” Kealalio said.

“This particular girls team, whose ages range from 14 to 18 years, have a goal to play in the 2006 Volleyball Festival. There will be over 100 teams at the tournament, in four different age groups,” she said.

The girls who are on this team come from Waimea, Kaua‘i, and Kapa‘a high schools.

Because the costs of these trips are not inexpensive, Kealalio said not too many of them are able to pay outright, which is why the parents and girls are working at trying to raise funds.

Kealalio also invited participation in the bowling party night.

“Please come over and buy some goodies, and we’ll be happy to answer question about the club, the team, or our fund-raisers,” she said.

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

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