Sunset, entertainment, food highlight help for Children’s Justice Center

NAWILIWILI —  Guests at the 5th annual Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Kaua‘i fundraiser were treated to a gorgeous “Sunset at Kalapaki,” Friday evening at the Kaua‘i Lagoons tennis courts.

Taking advantage of the area where several courts were cleared, the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Kaua‘i hosted about a hundred supporters and guests to a nice evening of dining and entertainment by Na Kaholokula with performances from Halau Mohala o ka Pua Hau Hele, Pua Kaholokula, kumu hula, Sean Carrillo and Michael Barretto.

The entertainment line-up was definitely Kaua‘i style, as Na Kaholokula burst forth with numbers composed by Jimmy Kaholokula and Halau Mohala o ka Pua Hau Hele extending the Kaholokula offerings with a kahiko hula based on a Jimmy Kaholokula composition on Waipouli and the Kapa‘a area.

Anna Peters created kalo plantings which guests could bid for in the silent auction, the kalo plantings forming centerpieces for the tables.

Guests were also invited to participate in the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Kaua‘i “Backpack Project” where volunteers pack a special backpack with items for children and youth who are entering foster care.

At a cost of $54 for a backpack, the backpacks contain personal items which the child takes during a time when they feel like they are losing so much.

The mission of the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Kaua‘i is to aid Kaua‘i’s abused and neglected youth and to support the work of the Children’s Justice Center.

Jalene Huff is the president of the board which includes Mark Hubbard, Tom Lodico, J Robertson, Margaret Smith, Anna Smithwick, Sue Strickland and Holly Walker.

The Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Kaua‘i is a participating agency of the Kaua‘i United Way and supports the Kaua‘i Children’s Justice Center which is centrally located to courts, the Department of Human Services and the hospital, playing a key role in helping the children of Kaua‘i.

The Hawai‘i Children’s Justice Centers are programs of the Hawai‘i State Judiciary and are accredited members of the National Children’s Alliance with more than 700 Children’s Advocacy Centers across the nation, states the Hawai‘i State Judiciary website.

One of the unique features of the centers is the public and private partnerships between the Judiciary department and the community. Founded by the local Rotary Clubs, each Neighbor Island Center is supported by its Friends of the Children’s Justice Center, a nonprofit organization which provides resources for the centers, the professionals who work with victims, and the children and families served by the centers’ programs.

Call 246-0923 for more information.

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

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