LIHUE — As the saying goes, “‘Tis the season for giving.”
And those at Anaina Hou Community Park, including founders Bill and Joan Porter and staff, have made a point of doing just that — volunteering their time and giving back — each Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This year is no exception. AHCP will host its annual Christmas Feast, a free meal for ohana and community, beginning at 4 p.m. Christmas Day at Kauai Mini Golf in Kilauea.
Crystal Bilyeu, general manager of Kauai Mini Golf, said what started four years ago as a small community potluck has grown into a major holiday affair.
“We’re expecting about 250,” she said. “We have a good crowd that comes rolling in.”
Last year, the event was held on Christmas Eve. However, Bilyeu switched to Dec. 25.
“The theory I have is that people need someplace to come on Christmas Day,” she said. “When you think about giving and self-sacrificing, it’s not always convenient.”
That’s not to say she and others are looking for pats on the back. They’re not. They volunteer their holiday because it is important to them. And many people pitch in.
Bilyeu said she expects to have between 20 and 25 volunteers, including staff and other community members. One of those community members is Kapaa resident and taro farmer Adam Asquith, who has offered to donate and prepare kalo for the large crowd expected.
“These are people behind the scenes that just give from their heart,” Bilyeu said.
The meal will include a main course of kalua pork, turkey and ham, along with an variety of holiday dishes prepared by staff and community volunteers.
While the event is about reaching out to those in need, Bilyeu stressed it is open to anyone and everyone — residents and tourists, young and old.
“It’s really just having these doors open for someone to come and enjoy a good meal with friends and family,” she said.
The event begins with a blessing and food will be served until it runs out. Entertainment will be provided by Kanazawa Will and Tangled Roots.
Kauai Mini Golf will also open the course for free golf from 4 to 8 p.m.
For more information, visit anainahou.org or call 828-2118.