Hundreds enjoy family building at Eastside summit

KAPA‘A — Hundreds of people strolled through the gates of the 10th annual Eastside Family Summit Saturday at the courtyard of the Kapa‘a High School.

“This is the 10th event for Kapa‘a,” said Bridget Arume, the event coordinator for the summit. “Since we started the events, we’ve had 18 summits, but only the Kapa‘a event continues.”

Daniel Hamada, the Kapa‘a High School principal, was the principal on the Westside when the summits started, Arume said. Today, he’s at Kapa‘a High School, where he says the family summit is an important part of building community.

The family summit with a theme of “Families — The Building Blocks of Life,” is one of the most unique and fun community events which takes place on the island, traditionally on the first Saturday in February, according to the Kaua‘i Schools website.

The summit, a collaborative effort between community agencies and groups, has been developed with virtually no funding from the government or any single organization. Its sole focus is on strengthening families and is free to the public.

“Keiki have an opportunity to play, adults can have an opportunity to browse for information, and groups can showcase their offerings which help families and the community,” Arume said. “It’s just a good way for families to spend time together.”

Spearheaded by the East Kaua‘i Drug Prevention Education Team, the event gets help from the Rotary Club of Kapa‘a, which supplies the tents that house more than 60 family service information tables, interactive keiki activities, music and a food service area.

“The fact that an event of this size can take place with a totally volunteer staff is a tribute to the kind of people who live here on Kaua‘i,” Arume said in the release. “This is an old-school event which celebrates families and is geared toward ‘whole family’ fun.”

Jim Jung, representing the Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association, was enjoying his first family summit, doing double duty — distributing keiki water safety activity books as well representing the U.S. Coast Guard as a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

He was joined by the Kaua‘i Police Department, offering not only the popular Keiki ID program, but information on substance abuse as well as tours of its equipment.

The Kaua‘i Fire Department had their new “Sparky” trailer on hand, where family summit attendees could experience a shortened version of the school presentations.

“Over the years, we’ve added new things, kept the things which work, and build,” Arume said. “Next year, it’ll probably be better, and families can come because things change in families.”

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