Sometimes, amidst our daily dilemmas and anguishing over financial fears, we forget we have much to celebrate. That’s especially the case on Kauai these days. Sure, there’s always something someone could point out that is wrong or just complain because it makes them feel better, but on this day, we’d like to point out the good going on and many of the people out there making a difference, in case you haven’t noticed.
Let’s start with …
The third annual Third Wave fundraiser to benefit the Kauai Lifeguard Association. This concert on Oct. 17 organized by Andy Melamed is already sold out. It includes live and silent auctions, prizes and music by some of Hawaii’s top recording artists. Dr. Monty Downs, KLA president, put it well when he said, “having our lifeguards fully prepared with necessary equipment at their disposal will assist in preventing drownings.” Millions visit Kauai’s beaches each year. Not every beach has lifeguards and can be dangerous places to swim. To put it simply, be safe and swim where you see lifeguards. These folks save lives. Through August, they had more than 56,000 preventative actions and 2,500 first aid responses. This fundraiser will help them assist even more people. Kauai works hard to attract visitors. Folks like Monty, Andy and lifeguards are doing their best to be sure our guests are safe.
Organizers and supporters of this nonprofit program met earlier this month to mark their progress, raise awareness of what it is they do, and recruit more volunteers. Never will you find a more dedicated, committed and enthusiastic group of people whose goal is to help our youth develop a strong understanding for finance, entrepreneurship and business planning. While money isn’t everything, it is absolutely important for kids to learn early that being wise monetarily can help them achieve their goals and dreams. Ivory Kealani Lloyd is the district manager of JA Kauai. She is bright and her energy is contagious. If you have a chance, say hi and she’ll happily tell you everything you want to know about Junior Achievement.
Some Kauai students vowed to hold a media violence fast as part of their recognition of International Peace Day. They pledged to avoid violent television programs, movies and video games from Sept. 15 to 21. We’ll check back with them to see how it went. That they recognize a saturation of death and destruction isn’t good for them, and want to do something about it, is pretty cool.
Opening of Kauai Christian Fellowship’s new Southside Sports Center
What a wonderful gift to the island. KCF and its staff had a vision of how to connect with the community and provide something that will surely benefit all ages. This $2 million, 14,000-square-foot facility will be a place of many health and wellness activities, adult and youth sports, a place where laughter and smiles and good times will be the rule. It’s grand opening on Sunday was proof — a whole lot of happy folks having good times.
The new Safeway
The 56,000-square-foot store that employs about 150 opened Friday to great excitement. Customers were not disappointed. Inside the grocery store were aisles, wide aisles, with thousands of products. The fact that Safeway and its neighbors, Petco and Jack in the Box at Hokulei Village in Lihue, committed to major construction projects on Kauai is a sign of their confidence in the local economy. The 24-hour store quickly received rave reviews from shoppers. Safeway is a great addition to Lihue and a perfect fit for the business community.
International Coastal Cleanup Day
Surfrider and Sierra Club volunteers cleaned Nulolii Beach on Saturday and removed 645 pounds of marine debris and trash. They hauled away fishing nets, hard plastic, a tire, trash and an 88-foot rope that weighed 227 pounds. Others, The Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park, cleared driftwood from Morgan’s Pond on Saturday. That so many are willing to give their time to improve Kauai is another testament to this island’s generosity. And if you’d like to help out, another beach cleanup is scheduled 9 a.m. Saturday at Hanamaulu Bay.
The Kauai Marathon
There were about 1,100 runners in the 13.1-mile half marathon and another 250 or so in the full marathon. Now, those aren’t exactly earth-shaking numbers. But what is earth-shaking about this Sept. 6 event is the aloha spirit that seemed to fill everyone involved, from the organizers to the volunteers to the runners to the residents who came out to cheer and offer support. For those who were there, it was something special. From the starting gun to the finish line, people ran, cheered and encouraged. There was a wonderful feeling of camaraderie in the air. It would be nice if we could bottle such unity and good will and share it all the time. Wait. We can. What’s been happening on Kauai proves it.