Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023 |
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LIHU‘E — Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. got a briefing on motorcycles Sunday during The Ride benefiting the Special Olympics Kaua‘i program.
“You can ride this one, mayor,” one biker offered. “It even has room so you can pack your wife in the back.”
The mayor excused himself. But Kaua‘i County Council Vice Chair Joann Yukimura participated in The Ride after being offered a ride by Chris Takenaka.
More than a hundred motorcycles took advantage of clear, sunny weather and a pleasant tradewind to caravan to Hofgaard Park in Waimea and back as a fundraiser and awareness campaign for the Special Olympics program, which derives its entire operating costs from fundraising and private contributions.
“You, by taking part in this ride, not only support the Special Olympics athletes,” said Carvalho. “You are also mentors, setting an example to the community on supporting people who need help.”
Special Olympic athletes, spanning all ages, were on hand to welcome the riders, who were joined by Kaua‘i Classic Cars enthusiasts as well as several street cars and public vehicles.
“This is our 10th ride,” said Jocelyn Barriga, the Special Olympics Kaua‘i coordinator. “Some of you even have the 2003 shirts, which even I don’t have.”
Shelly Gerardo, the ride coordinator, said the event is one of the more popular and larger fundraising events hosted by the Special Olympics program.
Sunday’s ride attracted more than a hundred riders representing several motorcycle clubs and organizations on the island.
In addition to funds raised by the $20 donation which earned riders a commemorative shirt, people could bid on items in the silent auction and purchase tickets for the Pau Hana Packs, a special vacuum-sealed food pack containing lau lau with butterfish, kalua pork and Portuguese sausage.
Following the ride, everyone could enjoy lunch which was being prepared by Special Olympics Kaua‘i volunteers in the convention hall kitchen area.
Special Olympics’ mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
To enroll an athlete, or volunteer for any of the Special Olympics Kaua‘i programs, call Barriga at 652-8662.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.
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