LIHUE — Happy birthday to Pacita Jimenez who spent part of her special day at the Kiwanis French Breakfast on Sunday at the Elsie Wilcox Elementary School cafeteria.
“Today is my real birthday,” Jimenez said. “I’m 89 years old, and I’m spending it with the Kiwanis.”
More than a thousand meals were prepared and either enjoyed in the cafeteria to the voluntary contributions of community entertainers, including the Kapaa Middle School chorus and ukulele band who recently returned from the Heritage Music Festival in California with a cache of awards.
“This was kind of a crazy weekend,” said Mary Lardizabal, director of the Kapaa Middle School group. “We had the STEPS Parent Child Fair, yesterday at the Kukui Grove Center, and this morning, the kids were here early to perform.”
The musicians took advantage of the early arrival to enjoy their meal of scrambled eggs, French toast, steamed rice garnished with furikake nori, and an assortment of fresh fruit.
“We’ve been doing this since 1979,” said Steven Nishimura, a Kiwanis Club of Kauai member. “Eric Yama is the oldest Kiwanis member, and I believe he became a member in 1979. Back then, we cooked everything, flipped eggs, and even made our own batter for the French toast. Now, everything is pre-made.”
Funds generated by the breakfast are used toward the scholarship distribution which takes place toward the end of the school year.
“I got some tickets from the Kapaa High School students who came around to sell,” said Jennifer Veeck. “I work at the Kapaa Elementary School and we always try and support the kids when they have fundraising to do.”
Kapaa High School Key Club students Deidre Andaya and Brandon Quilos were churning out the utensil packets despite having the Kapaa High School prom Saturday night.
“Some of the girls didn’t even go to tennis because their hair was already done,” Andaya said. “We played our matches at Island School and was still able to make the prom. We didn’t even have our names in, but somehow, we were named prom king and queen. And we still had to be here by 6:45 a.m. to help serve.”
Helena Cooney, president of the Kiwanis Club, said the breakfast probably did about the same as last year’s event.
“The crowd just came in a little later,” Cooney said. “Normally, we get the rush between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. This year, they must have slept in because the crowd didn’t get in until after 8:30.”
Visitors are welcome to the Kiwanis Club of Kauai meetings which are held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month starting at 5 p.m. at the Ho‘okipa Cafe at the Puakea Golf Course.