Young aloha spirit going with mayor to Iwaki

LIHU‘E — When Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and his delegation leave for Iwaki City, Japan, next week, there will be a lot of smiles from students accompanying him.

Art Umezu, the county’s film commissioner, was at Elsie Wilcox Elementary School cafeteria Wednesday afternoon where about 240 students from kindergarten through fifth grade showed some of their art and crafts.

Millie Johnson, the A-Plus coordinator at Wilcox School in Lihu‘e, said the students worked on the projects in August as part of a “caring and sharing” theme.

“When we read the county had signed a sister-city agreement with Iwaki City, we thought it would be the perfect place to send these crafts,” Johnson said. “The are suffering from the disaster in March and there’s a typhoon threatening.”

Umezu, dressed in an aloha shirt made in Iwaki City, brought over literature so he could familiarize the students with where their crafts were going to be distributed.

“You folks just created a lot of smiles,” Umezu told the students. “A lot of the young people like you have no homes, no schools, nothing.”

Students, with the help of the Kaua‘i High School Key Club volunteers, created an assortment of “Aloha” banners, some signed with creators’ names, bracelets, keychains and bookmarks.

• Dennis Fujimoto can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or


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