Retailer grants aide

The players were all in school Tuesday, but the Kaua‘i Pride soccer team was represented by its coach Cindy Crain at the daily Wal-Mart employee meeting.

Crain was the recipient of one of two Wal-Mart foundation grants that were distributed during the daily gathering.

“They came up a little short on fund-raising,” said Darlene Akana-Nordmeier, a Wal-Mart associate. “To help offset their efforts, the foundation reviewed their situation and granted them $1,000.”

Crain, who coaches the AYSO U14 team with her husband, said the team participated in a recent off-island tournament where the girls were eliminated in the quarterfinals 2-1.

But despite that shortcoming, the Kaua‘i Pride was presented the tournament’s Sportsmanship award.

“When we started the team, we thought about the possibility of going to the tournament,” Crain said. “But in selecting members for the team, we don’t look at whether or not the girls can afford to make a trip. That’s where the fund-raising comes in.”

“Without the help of Wal-Mart, some of the girls would not have been able to make the trip,” Crain said. “We are truly appreciative of Wal-Mart’s generosity in helping every player on the team experience play off-island.”

In addition to the presentation to the soccer team, Wal-Mart also presented a $1,000 grant to the Read to Me International program represented by Janice Bond and James T. Yamamoto.

Funds for the grant will be used to help present the 6th Annual Kaua‘i Keiki Story Festival, Bond said.

Bond, a retired English teacher, said she first experienced the joy of being read to when attending a meeting hosted by former First Lady Lynn Waihee.

“After she read a story to us, I realized that even adults enjoy stories being read to us,” Bond said. “That was the start of the first Kaua‘i Keiki Story Festival, and Wal-Mart helped us with a $50 gift card which we used to help get paper goods and materials.”

On Tuesday, the initial $50 gift card grew to a $1,000 grant which will help offset hosting the event at the Storybook Theater in Hanapepe on Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Presentations were done by Wal-Mart assistant manager Ray Belarde with help from Wal-Mart department manager Darlene Akana-Nordmeier.

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

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