KAPAA — Team Kauai has less than two weeks to raise funds for its trip to California for the regional tournament.
Kirk Correa, one of the coaches for the Team Kauai Protect Our Nation’s Youth 13 (year old) team said the Kauai PONY 13s captured the state title on the Big Island last week to earn eligibility to advance to the PONY regional tournament in Fullerton, Calif.
“Unfortunately, we have less than two weeks to try and come up with funds for the team to travel and represent Hawaii,” said Lisa Camalliri, a team mother who was chaperoning a group of players outside the Eastside Restaurant Saturday during the First Saturday event. “We can’t do any bake sales or car washes because all the sites are booked for the next couple of weeks, and we have to leave.”
She said people wanting to assist the squad comprised of players from all parts of the island can participate in its drawing for prizes. Call 639-7698 for more information and contributions.
“We have the talent,” the team mom said. “Wouldn’t it be great if we come home with the World Series title?”
The First Saturday event, coordinated by the Kapaa Business Association, has offered teams fundraising opportunities by participating in the monthly on the first Saturday of each month.
Kauai PONY 13’s were dispatched throughout the town from the Kapaa Beach Park through the Ono Family Restaurant, where restaurant owner Kenny Ishii oversaw the activity with the team.
“This is great,” Ishii said. “It allows these boys a way to help with their travel expenses. They represent not only Kauai, but the entire state. We’re proud of them.”
Team Kauai needs to raise $20,000 to send 14 players and three coaches to the tournament that runs July 20-24.
If the team advances to the World Series July 27-31, it will need to raise more money.
Cars stopped as several of the Kauai PONY 13s took up miniature “stop” signs, acting as street crossing guards to stop the line of cars, trucks, and boats from the adjacent Garden Island Trollers fishing contest, enabling First Saturday patrons to cross Kuhio Highway near the Pono Kai complex.
Futsal Kauai took a different path, offering shoppers funnel cakes and deep-fried Oreo as a fundraiser for its three teams planning an Oahu trip for soccer tournaments.
Mytra McKeague, a Futsal Kauai coach, said they are planning on taking an Under 8, and Under 10, and an Under 12 team to Oahu for tournament play.
“Futsal Kauai is for everyone,” McKeague said. “We play pick up games at the Kapaa Inline Hockey Association rink next to the skateboard park, Mondays through Fridays starting at 4 p.m. Anyone can come and participate — and it’s free!”
Correa said when the team gets to Fullerton, Kauai fans can track the team’s progress through the regional tournament online.
Should the team be successful at the regional tournament, it will have just two days to rest before advancing to the PONY World Series, which will be televised.
“The good thing is the PONY World Series will also play in Fullerton, this year,” Correa said.