Firefighters saved Christmas, now working to save Shattered Dreams

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i firefighters are working to keep dreams alive.

The dreams they are fighting for is the Shattered Dreams program which has played out four times on Kaua‘i and offers a realistic rendering of the consequences of young people drinking and driving.

Theresa Koki of the county’s anti-drug office said there has not been a Shattered Dreams presentation in two years because funding for the program was eliminated.

“The program was funded through the Department of Transportation and the funds are now gone,” Koki said.

Started through the Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition, the Shattered Dreams program served as a model for other islands as it played out at the three Kaua‘i public high schools, the program receiving visits from other islands’ high school counselors and community leaders who wanted it on their respective islands.

“Now that there’re no funds for this program, we are trying to raise funds to have our own Shattered Dreams program,” Koki said. “The calendars featuring Kaua‘i fire fighters and water safety officers will hopefully keep this program going.”

Kaua‘i Fire Capt. Steven Doi said there are 24 Kaua‘i firefighters and water safety officers featured in the calendar.

Of those, a dozen were on hand to personally autograph calendars and chat with shoppers.

“This Shattered Dreams program is really good,” Doi said. “This is the only reason the firefighters agreed to be featured in the calendar. The effort is voluntary on the part of the firefighters and Stan Koga who did the photographs.”

Shattered Dreams is a school-based alcohol prevention program which aims to raise awareness of the consequences of underage drinking through dramatization, states a county press release announcing the sale of the calendars.

“Sales fron the calendars will hopefully enable us to bring the Shattered Dreams program back to our high schools,” Koki said. “It is a very powerful program which impacts everyone who participates in it.”

Proceeds from the sales of the calendar will be earmarked for the training of the staff and volunteers of the underage drinking prevention program on Kaua‘i.

“We are grateful that our emergency responders and other organizations have come together to help address the worsening problem of underage drinking on Kaua‘i,” said Amanda Gregg, strategic prevention framework-state incentive grant project specialist, in the county’s release.

Fran Becker of Na Lei Wili Area Health Education Center said for shoppers who missed out on the Saturday event, calendars will be available at Na Lei Wili offices located at 4442 Hardy Street, Room 205 (upstairs from Ikeda’s Barber Shop) in Lihu‘e.

During the recent Holly Jolly event hosted by the county’s employee council, the Kaua‘i Fire Department held off the county attorneys to win first place with its “KFD Saves Christmas.”

On Saturday, the firefighters and water safety officers were doing more than saving Christmas, they are working to save the Shattered Dreams.

For more information, call Becker at 246-8986.

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

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