Friday, Aug. 19, 2022 |
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‘Tis the time of year we could use a bit of good news. And nothing warms the heart like hearing stories with happy endings or ones that reflect a great effort on someone’s behalf (unless you’re the Grinch before his small heart grew three sizes in one day).
Kauai has quite a bit to be proud of always, but particularly, lately. There are many who continue to excel or just flat do their best, not for themselves, but others. So let’s just recap a little bit of some of those who are making a difference, for the better.
• The Aloha Angels made their 12th and final stop on a good will tour earlier this year that saw this big-hearted group award $157,500 to 225 teachers at 12 Kauai schools. Much of that money came from Kauai’s five Rotary clubs, while many businesses also pitched in to make the adopt-a-class a huge success story. The reason these folks do all this is to help the island’s youth and their teachers. Aloha Angels President Rick Cox and the rest of this group are having an impact that will span lifetimes.
• Kauai Humane Society’s pet transfer program has sent about 400 dogs and cats to the Mainland, where they will have a much better chance of being adopted. Cheers to Alaska Airlines, which allows the pets in this program to fly for free. And cheers, too, to all those KHS staff and volunteers who make this happen. This transfer program is giving new life to animals that faced a questionable future without it.
• Andy Jasper came on board as the National Tropical Botanical Gardens South Shore director two years ago. He did an outstanding job before departing in November. Just a terrific, bright guy, who will be missed.
• Waimea High School ROTC showed up 150 members strong for the Veterans Day parade. Wonderful to see such pride and spirit in our young people. And the Veterans Day parade was outstanding. Great crowd paying tribute to those who served, protected and sacrificed.
• Kadee Parubrub is just 10 years old, but she is already an example for the rest of the world. The Kauai girl brought in 1,750 pounds of food to the Kauai Independent Food Bank that she collected during her birth celebration. Imagine that. Ten years old and her concern wasn’t gifts for herself, but for the island’s less fortunate. A heart of gold that’s rare, indeed.
• Mary Poppins put on by the Hawaii Children’s Theatre was brilliant. For those who saw it, you know just how special it was. The dancing, the singing, the choreography, the scenes, were as if professionals were responsible. Talk about smiles lighting up the stage, this musical had plenty of them.
• Jason Iloreta and brother Josh teamed up in the Old Koloa Sugar Mill 10K for something we won’t forget. Jason pushed Josh, who has cerebral palsy, in his new racing wheelchair and they finished strong. They deserved all the cheers that came their way.
• Kauai Drug Court graduated its 26th class. Wonderful to see people turning their lives around. Never give up. You can do it. They believed and are getting it done.
• Kapaa High School’s warriors fell in the Division II football championship, their only loss of the season. The team had skills and was coached well, for sure, but they played with heart, too, and made everyone proud. You can’t teach heart and they had it.
• Pierce Murphy, an Island School graduate, finished third in the NCAA cross country nationals. The University of Colorado senior, in his final cross country race, put on an amazing performance. In a race featuring the country’s finest distance runners, we’re talking the best of the best in college, Murphy proved Kauai produces top talent. Track is still to come.
• Community groups like the Salvation Army and churches served up hundreds of free Thanksgiving meals. They gave and expected nothing in return. The laughter, the smiles, the delight of those who enjoyed those meals was all they needed to see and hear.
• Organizers behind Operation Christmas Child on Kauai collected nearly 3,000 shoeboxes filled with gifts, all bound for children in other countries who have little or nothing of their own. Some folks, like Kauai’s Mike and Christina Ensman of OCC, just have hearts to help. Wish we could bottle it and give it away.
Thank you all, for sharing the spirit of Kauai. Your efforts are making this island, and this world, a better place.
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