South Shore lifeguards, firemen get Thanksgiving delivery

POIPU — When Marisa Hurley and her children Olivia, 11, and Lucas, 8, arrived at the Poipu lifeguard tower, only Aaron Haberman was on watch Thursday.

The other four lifeguards were on a response of a medical call at Brennecke’s, said Haberman.

“It’s been busy,” the tower anchor said. “This is the third one in two days.”

For years, the Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa has provided Thanksgiving dinners for the lifeguards and firemen on the South Shore.

“The Grand Hyatt Kauai gratefully appreciates all they do,” said Diann Hartman, Grand Hyatt spokeswoman. “These people tirelessly work, including all holidays, to help others.”

Hartman said Hurley, Grand Hyatt Kauai’s director of catering and convention services started delivery of the meals because she didn’t want to pull anyone out of the work they needed to do.

“I thought it would be fun to have the kids help me and thank these public workers,” Marisa said. “Living on a small island, you have to be part of the community, and I try to teach that to my children daily.”

Responding to the incident at Brennecke’s, the lifeguards were joined by the shift at the Koloa fire station, one of Marisa’s stops, and the crew from American Medical Response who ended up transporting the patient.

“This is awesome, what you’re doing,” Haberman told Lucas and Olivia as the crew started returning from their response.

He was joined by Dominic Marquez, whose son was involved in the Kauai Youth Football and Pop Warner football games on Oahu last week. Other lifeguards on duty returning to thank the Hurleys included Dylan James, Gerald Hurd and Justin Tabalno.

“My kids love it and get so excited when Thanksgiving rolls around,” Marisa said. “The first question of the day is, ‘What time are we delivering to the lifeguards and firemen?’”

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or


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