KAPAA — “This is like Disneyland!” squealed a youngster running through the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital courtyard Monday night.
“The kids really have fun with the snow,” said Josie Pablo, Mahelona Hospital recreation director. “We had hundreds of people here Friday night when we turned on the lights for the first time.”
Pablo came up with the idea to illuminate the courtyard and create a festive scene to help the residents cope with the depression that sets in during the holiday season.
“The holidays is a sad time for our residents from missing their families, or wanting to go home,” Pablo said. “Now, they have a place to enjoy the lights and spirit of the season. They love this — from seeing people who come to visit to hearing the happy kids screaming with joy as they run all over the place.”
The effort that came to fruition with the formal lighting was made possible through many community groups.
Mrs. Betty Greenwood was a resident who was being wheeled around the courtyard along the network of concrete walkways.
“Bless all those who made this,” she said. “Blessings to everyone.”