Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023 |
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LIHU‘E — An aged hand quietly fidgeted in a jacket’s pocket, and after a while, emerged with several coins, which were dropped into a red kettle Wednesday.
The sound of the drop was overpowered by the music by Haunani Kaui and Linda Tani, who were joined by Zandra Cousins of Santa Clarita, Calif. Wednesday as doors to the Salvation Army Community Thanksgiving Lunch opened to a waiting crowd of people at the War Memorial Convention Hall.
“We have family in Oregon, but we’re here. … What better place to be than here, helping,” said Betty Martin of Tigard, Ore., who was joined by her husband John in the serving line. “This is our second year helping, and if we’re here at this time next year, we’ll be back.”
Similarly, Cousins, who added the magic of spoons to the music of Kaui and Green, said when she found out Kaui was going to be playing at the Thanksgiving lunch, she needed to be here.
“I’m everybody’s ‘Cousins,’” she said, showing off her playing spoons, which she said were given to her by her fiancé, Roland Anderson of Flagstaff, Ariz. “I met Haunani at the Coconut MarketPlace about eight years ago and we’ve been friends since. I’m only here until Saturday, but if she is playing here, I can help.”
Anderson, the treasurer of the Accordion Club of California, also had his turn on the stage, being called upon by Larry Rivera, who had no idea of Anderson’s origin.
“My brother Ernie Menehune lives near Flagstaff,” Larry said before letting Anderson perform with poi balls, following the lead of Sophia Rivera.
Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said we have so much to be thankful for while welcoming everyone to the community luncheon.
As people filed into the convention hall, it was evident there would be the need for additional tables. A Salvation Army greeter lost part of her table to diners while Salvation Army board members were joined by Randall Francisco of the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce with setting up additional tables and chairs in the lobby of the convention hall.
“I’m so glad there are so many people who turned out for this event,” said Salvation Army board member Sara Miura. “A lot of the people seem to really need a good meal.”
John Cabello agreed with Miura’s sentiment.
“I cook for the Salvation Army Kokua Soup Kitchen, and we see a lot of people who are here,” said Cabello, who is a cast member of the ongoing Hawai‘i Children’s Theatre production, “Scrooge, The Musical.”
Katie Beer, chair of the Salvation Army board, said it was hard to say how many meals were served at first glance.
However, a similar meal was taking place at the Salvation Army, Hanapepe Corps Community Center and for those who were unable to attend the sit-down service, take-out meals were made available at the Lihu‘e Corps.
The annual Kaua‘i Interfaith Association Thanksgiving Luncheon will take place at the All Saints Gym today.
An interfaith service will open the day at the All Saints Church starting at 10 a.m. followed by the luncheon prepared by Chef Mark Oyama to follow with lots of fellowship and home-style entertainment.
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