Labor Day breakfast a good way to give back

PUA LOKE — Nina Saraos found a nice nook to enjoy breakfast, yesterday.

“This is the first year I get to enjoy the meal,” Saraos, a volunteer at the 30th Annual Labor Day Breakfast said. “I started early to help with the cooking and I don’t need to help in the serving line this year.”

Saraos was enjoying a quiet moment in the little niche off the dining area at the Lihu‘e United Church of Christ-United Methodist Church, noting that her niece needed some community service hours for her school so she was one of the young people helping in the serving line.

Pastor Wesley Elmore, welcoming guests Karen and Steve Mott of Carlsbard, Calif., said the annual event benefits the Hale ‘Opio and Ke Ala Hoku programs this year.

According to the Hale ‘Opio Web site, it provides services dedicated to improving quality of life for children, youth and families.

In a May 2008 press release from Gov. Linda Lingle, Ke Ala Hoku Community Integration Partnership program helps residents on Kaua‘i achieve self-sufficiency following incarceration and substance abuse treatment.

The program provides participants with clean and sober transitional housing and support services aimed at reuniting them with their families and reintegrating them into the community, states the release which also announced a $200,000 grant-in-aid for the program.

“We heard about this breakfast in the announcements at the services at the Waioli Mission,” Steve said. “We had to come check it out.”

Elmore noted that this year’s breakfast appeared to be more balanced with diners going through the serving lines in a steady stream as compared to previous years when diners showed up in surges.

He based that observation on the fact that a lot of people were probably recuperating from the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair which closed Sunday night.

With an hour remaining, Dana Knapp, a volunteer ticket seller, said the breakfast was in line with last year’s numbers when the church accounted for 476 meals in a three-hour span.

“We had 500 adult tickets printed, and we’re recycling tickets now so that’s a good sign,” Knapp, a four-year volunteer, said.

Ron Clark, a bus driver for a retail chain, said this was a good stopping point before reporting to work, and Polei and Wally Palmeira were enjoying the event after playing at an event Sunday night at a resort.

Melissa Nobriga had her family in tow as they enjoyed a quick meal before taking to the stage as part of the entertainment lineup.

Nobria, a coach with the Kaua‘i High School air riflery team, said this was a nice way to start the day before practice later in the afternoon.

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


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