Santa brings a rainbow for Hanapepe
HANAPEPE — When a rainbow appeared along with Santa, Aunty Janet Kahalekomo knew everything was going to be alright, Friday.
Kahalekomo, who was just one of the chaperones for the ‘Ele‘ele School A-Plus afterschool program, said the event in the park had to be postponed because of all the bad weather last week.
“The students all came to me this morning, and with their hands in prayer, said, ‘Can we go today?’” the kupuna said.
About 140 students from the ‘Ele‘ele School A-Plus program were hosted by the Historic Hanapepe Town Association to help decorate the town Christmas tree, enjoy refreshments, play games and visit with Santa.
Firemen from the Hanapepe fire station joined the group, providing not only the ladder, but manpower to help lift some of the younger children so they could properly place their ornaments.
“It’s all made of plastic, so they’re really durable,” Kahalekomo said. “We even recycled some of the newspaper bags to make ornaments. If the bags can keep the newspaper dry, it can handle the weather.”
Each of the ornaments came with a length of pipe cleaner to attach it to the boughs of the Norfolk that was erected by the firemen.
Kahalekomo wiped a tear from her eye, but the students didn’t notice. She was the recipient of a special gift from the Historic Hanapepe Town Association for the effort and work she does with the school students and the community in perpetuating the culture and traditions of the Westside community.
“Thank you, Santa,” Kahalekomo’s voice boomed with laughter that shielded her tears.
Kahalekomo said the students look forward to this event every year, and Jean Marcuse of the Historic Hanapepe Town Association said the group looks forward to hosting the students.
“Shan Nagamine is the president of the association, but couldn’t make it, today,” Marcuse said. “But Doreen Bower and the other people are doing a really good job out there.”
In addition to Marcuse, Bower and Nagamine, the core of people who make up the Historic Hanapepe Town Association include Roy Buduan and Renee Uliana, both of whom were busy helping students claim their prizes from Santa who just happened to make his appearance aboard a Dr. Ding’s surfboard.
“It gets pretty wild, here,” Kahalekomo laughed. “But at least it didn’t get rained out.”