Tickets for First Wave fundraiser available

General admission tickets for the First Wave Celebration event scheduled for Oct. 9 are available at any Times/Big Save stores, or online at kauaifirstwave.org.

Additionally, people wishing for Gold and VIP-sponsored tables for 10 people may contact Kilohana Plantation at 245-5608 for those reservations.

The Kaua‘i First Wave Celebration is a benefit concert for Kaua‘i ocean safety and will run from 5 p.m. at the Kilohana Plantation Lu‘au pavilion featuring Taj Mahal and the Hula Blues Band, Donavon Franenreiter and John Cruz with comedy by Augie T and Frank De Lima, Andy Bumatai, and a special appearance by Master Hypnotist Tina Marie.

Punctuating the entertainment, guests will be treated to no host food and spirits (for those 21 years and older), a silent and live auction as well as donation drawings.

Proceeds from the Kaua‘i First Wave Celebration will help the Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association raise funds for Yamaha Jet Skis, rescue sleds and trailers and all-terrain vehicles so each lifeguard tower on Kaua‘i will have the proper life-saving equipment.

Dr. Monty Downs, president of the KLA, said only three lifeguard stations around Kaua‘i are presently equipped with Yamaha Jet Skis.

“There is an obvious need for more water crafts and ATV to support our lifeguards with their very challenging job of Ocean Rescue and Recovery,” Downs said in a KLA release.

Downs has been a lead physician at the G.N. Wilcox Memorial Hospital emergency room for more than 35 years, witnessing the sorrows associated with Kaua‘i families and visitors due to drowning and ocean-related mishaps.

]Andy Melamed of the KQNG Radio Group and Dave Rullo responded to Downs’ observations, initiating a fundraising campaign which will hopefully, equip all of the lifeguard stations on the island with the needed equipment.

“It only seemed natural our community join together to meet these needs,” said Melamed.

Melamed and Rullo joined forces with the KLA, Ocean Safety Bureau Supervisor Kalani Vierra, Kaua‘i Fire Chief Robert Westerman and Roberta Charles of the Rotary Club of Po‘ipu Beach to spearhead the campaign which saw the emergence of several marketing and promotional partnerships with The Garden Island newspaper, Wala‘au TV and the KQNG Radio Group.

Equipment and funds started trickling in, the Lorraine Newman Family Trust committing to donating funds for an ATV, the Carswell family, proprietors of the Kaua‘i Athletic Club, Princeville Ranch Adventures and Kaua‘i Backcountry Adventures donating a new ATV and challenging other Kaua‘i businesses to donate to the KLA Ocean Safety Campaign.

Dr. David Moore of Kilauea and Bill Allen of Hawai‘i Care and Cleaning responded to the challenge, donating funds for the purchase of two new Yamaha Jet Skis, rescue sleds and trailers.

Spearheaded by Charles, the Rotary Clubs of Kaua‘i joined in the fundraising drive and have tickets available for the donation prize which features a Great Alaskan Adventure Cruise as the grand prize. The five Rotary Clubs also make appearances at selected Times/Big Save stores on selected dates to enhance the sale of the tickets.

Monetary contributions have been received from Aloha Petroleum/Shell Oil, King Auto Center, Tire Warehouse, Hanalei Land Co., Hunt Development, Kaua‘i Vacation Rental, Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau, Verizon Wireless, Brennecke’s Beach Broiler, Ohana Realty, Kukui‘ula Development Co., Holo Holo Charters, Bali Hai Realty, the Ching Young Village, Panda Express, Pahio Resorts, North Shore Pharmacy, Dick and Dotty Perry, Manoogian family, Vic and Kim Rose, Hobey Beck, Dr. Geri Yung, Dr. Downs, Carol Pratt, Sharron Weber, and Hobey Goodale.

South Seas Imports and the King Auto Center stepped forward, offering special pricing on jet skis and ATVs.

Melinda Uohara and the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i are organizing the live and silent auctions with a variety of merchandise including original Kaua‘i art, custom jewelry, resort hotel stays, golf and spa getaways, ocean sport equipment, an autographed Taj Mahal guitar and more. A complete listing of items will be in the Sept. 28 insert in The Garden Island newspaper as well as at the celebration, Oct. 9.

The campaign culminates with the Oct. 9 celebration at Kilohana, sponsored by Island Soap and Candle, Wilcox Health, Makai Properties, Times/Big Save markets, the Kuhio Auto Group, Steinlager and Alaska Airlines.

Service Rentals and Supplies will be donating lighting for parking of cars at Kilohana and the Grove Farm Co. is providing security personnel to oversee the celebration.

“Raising funds for four high performance jet skis and three ATVs as well as educating the public in the area of ocean safety is quite a challenge,” Melamed said. “The effort to produce such an event and program can be exhausting, but to have the community response in such a positive manner with all of its support makes the effort worthwhile, reinforcing the deep appreciation of being able to live, interact and inspire each other. Together, we really can make a difference.”

Visit www.kauaifirstwave.org, or call Melamed at 482-0218, or Rullo at 634-3556 for more information.

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