Life’s better at the beach

HANAPEPE — Delia Tumbaga was thrilled that her mother, Esmenia Pascua, was able to enjoy the water Tuesday at the Salt Pond Beach Park.

“This is so good,” Tumbaga said. “She loves the water, and used to go to the beach all the time.”

Joanne Martin, Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital recreation director, said through the efforts of volunteers, including the Waimea High School JrROTC, the Hanapepe fire station, and residents’ families, they brought the entire long-term care population to the beach.

Major Victor Aguilar, director of the Waimea JrROTC, said he had 23 cadets sign up to volunteer.

“A lot of these students have relatives who are at KVMH,” Aguilar said. “They come to help do whatever needs doing.”

Brandie Aguinaldo was one of the cadets whose great-grandmother, Takeko Agena, was among the residents enjoying the outing.

“I didn’t even know she was coming,” Aguinaldo said. “I just signed up because it said ‘Elderly beach outing.’ This is my first time doing this, and it’s nice to see her having fun.”

Kauai Fire Department Capt. Gary Hudson was glad the fire department was invited to help for the second straight year.

“This is a treat and honor,” he said.

Martin said among the residents, Carolyn Unciano had never experienced the beach outing until they went to Lydgate Park to share the experience with the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital.

“She totally loved the experience, and today she’s the first one in the water,” Martin said.

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