Celebrating ‘ohana on Eastside

KAPA‘A — Jalene Huff and the Head Start staff know exactly what it takes to draw a crowd.

Taking advantage of the hot afternoon sun at Kapa‘a High School, Huff and her volunteers offered a “make your own ice cream” project which drew quite a crowd.

“Celebrating Kaua‘i’s Families” was the theme for the annual Eastside Family Summit which attracted a steady stream of people Saturday afternoon.

As families browsed through the various stations, live entertainment begged for attention everywhere and the aroma of food added to the offerings of the 32 representatives of different agencies.

Mary Lardizabal had her Kapa‘a Middle School choir on hand as part of the entertainment.

“We go to the Heritage Music Festival, April 14,” Lardizabal said. “For the students here today, many of them have never sung together before. This is their first step.”

John Kaneholani, a Kapa‘a High School graduate and ukulele instructor at Hanalei School, also had his students waiting in the shade for their cue to take the stage.

“Wait right here,” he said while handing out the students’ instruments. “I don’t want you getting lost when it’s time to go on stage.”

It was easy to get lost with a variety of activities beckoning young minds. Activities were interspersed with information and other resources for families.

“We had more than 15 different vendors offer up food,” said Francesco Garripoli, one of the event’s committee members. “There’s something for everyone.”

Door prizes were offered throughout the afternoon as community businesses also contributed a variety of gift certificates and merchandise to encourage people to stay.

Representatives from the different agencies and organizations were also well-cared for as volunteer students from the Kapa‘a High School Junior ROTC program and the National Honor Society made numerous trips around the fair ground to offer refreshments to the guest representatives.

Bridget Arume headed up the committee that included representatives from local community agencies as well as from Kapa‘a Elementary School, Kapa‘a Middle School, Kapa‘a High School, Kilauea School and Hanalei School.

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

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