• Ferry letter erroneous
• Football on television
• Winners Camp a success
Ferry letter erroneous
Just a clarification on Juan Wilson’s recent letter (“Biased ferry coverage,” Letters, Aug. 27) in which he states: “There were two sour notes. Chief of Police Darryl Perry would not allow the single pro-Superferry supporter, Kimo Rosen, to attend the festivities, even though celebrants asked that he be included. Perry insisted that Rosen stand about 100 yards off.”
That statement is an absolute fabrication, and it was reckless and irresponsible of Wilson to state untruths.
On that day in question, I drove down with my wife in our private vehicle to observe the festivities. I neither met with Rosen nor with any other participant. As a matter of record and with respect to the event, I was happy to see how well it was coordinated.
Football on television
I got up early and watched the University of Hawaii vs. the University of Florida Gator game from beginning to end.
The circumstances were perfect for Hawai‘i: a preseason game, away from home against a very good team. The final score does not reflect the lessons learned by both coaches and players. The offensive coaches must have learned the value of patience. We were doing great in the beginning with effective runs and short passes, resulting in a series of first downs. Then came the fateful “Hail Mary” pass, and the interception by the Gators.
I was so proud of the way our players kept up the fight to the very end. The defense was great. I’m sure that our linebackers learned that a little more containment strategy is needed when faced with super speedy running backs. The absence of Colt Brennan was certainly felt, but quarterbacks Alexander and Funaki gained invaluable experience. The Gator defense took advantage of every turnover, usually with a score.
This game was a wake-up call to our coaches and players. I’m sure that the digital photos, that they must have taken, will be analyzed microscopically. We bought the season on television. I hope that the producers will be a little less greedy with so many commercials that broke into playing time. I wanted my money back every time a commercial covered playing time. If they don’t straighten this out, I for one will not buy any more sports on television.
Winners Camp a success
Winners Camp, dba Hawaii Leadership Academy has graduated over 15,000 young teens over the past 23 years.
Hawai‘i is blessed to have such a fine nonprofit organization which truly changes lives in a positive way. The founder and director is Delorese Gregoire, a tower of strength and integrity. The camp takes them from “Attitude to Gratitude.”
Our son Shannon Shea Smith attended as a camper and then went on to staff along with his sister, Colleen Erin-Ashley Smith. I personally saw the profound difference camp made in their lives and they became outstanding adults.
There are many challenges for today’s youth and every parent can use some help to direct this energy in a positive direction. Winners’ Camp is a weeklong residential program for teens ages 12 to 16.
Some children comes from privileged homes and learn to appreciate what they have. Some come from foster homes and they learn not to be a victim and stand on their own. Shy children are placed in a position of leadership and get a voice. The active, boisterous children learn how to funnel that into something that can serve them better. Everyone wins.
As a volunteer, I get to watch this transformation each hour and it always brings tears to my eyes. The children become so much more confident, happy and loving. When they feel good about themselves, they want to help others. I have been asked how I could possibly make a difference with so many teens and I always use this story.
A couple were walking along a beach which was covered with starfish that had washed ashore. At the end was an old man throwing one in at a time. They said, “Why are you doing this, you can’t possibly make a difference?” To which he replied, “Made a difference to that one.”
All of these teens are my starfishes. They each honor the memory of Shannon.
This past July, I accompanied 40 teens from Kaua‘i to O‘ahu to attend Jammin’ July Winners Camp. It was the largest group ever from this island. The Kaua‘i parents flew over for Parents Day and cried along with me as they saw the transformation in their teens.
I asked friends and businesses who willingly gave from their hearts which enabled our high enrollment.
A huge mahalo nui loa to: Wilcox Hospital, John and Bobbie Love, Gerry and Karen Koch (Colorado and Kaua‘i), Sam and Gina Caliendo, King Auto Center, Mr. T’s Pest Control, Terence Houlihan, Helena Cooney, Herman Ferriera, Brian Flournoy (Oklahoma and Kaua‘i), Eric and Kathleen Henderson (Canada and Kaua‘i), Kayak Wailua (Pete and Beth Fisher), Grande’s Gems & Gallery (Tiffany Grande), Jodi Nakamoto, The McClusky Trust, Kauai Ranch, Cornerstone Hawaii Holdings, Vicky and Wayne Thrift, Dane Waialeale, Bernie and Ron Seliski (Minnesota and Kaua‘i), Lee & Tara Allgood (Colorado, Georgia and Kaua‘i), Norman Caris, Graham and Susan Nash, Mollie and Henry Osbourne, Jeff Fisher, Earthworks Pacific Inc., Carey and Phillip Sacksteder (California), Jeffrey Lindner, Will Leonard, Robin Yost.
We hold 22 camps a year and two for the public, spring break and summer.
I am deeply grateful and consider it an honor to volunteer for Winners Camp and to be able to give back to the island of Kaua‘i.