NAWILIWILI — More than a thousand keiki between the ages of 4 through 18 took advantage of the 10th annual Kids Summer Fest Saturday at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club.
“They have been doing this for 10 years,” said Laura Montes, chaperoning three young keiki munching on healthy snacks. “This is our first time. It’s really good and there is a lot of fun. Where have we been?”
Wilcox Health and a family of community organizations combine their efforts to offer the free family-oriented event to promote safe and healthy summer fun.
“This year, we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Kids Summer Fest with interactive games and activities designed to teach children and families the importance of leading healthy, active lifestyles through exercise, proper nutrition, safety and injury prevention,” said Drs. Grace Galiza and Daniel Burke Judd, the event co-chairs. “As an affiliate of Hawaii Pacific Heath, one of the state’s largest health care providers, Wilcox Health is committed to creating a healthier Hawaii by helping patients on Kauai receive the best medical care.”
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, in a congratulatory message delivered by Kaulana Finn, said rural and underserved communities often face ongoing challenges in accessing quality preventative health care.
“This is precisely why events such as these are so important to our communities,” Gabbard said. “The Kids Summer Fest successfully manages to bridge this gap by connecting keiki with critical resources to help them thrive and live a healthy lifestyle.”
Lyle Tabata, representing Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., acknowledged the effort to promote healthy lifestyles and living, inviting everyone to enjoy the county’s efforts, including the Safe Routes on Hardy Street, as well as the Ke Ala Hele Makalae multi-use path in Kapaa where the Mayor-a-thon takes place Saturday morning.
“This is really a good event,” said Carl-Lynn Keoho-Kaui who was chaperoning two young keiki. “This is our first time attending, and the kids really want to win a bike. They found out about it on the last day of school when everyone got fliers to take home.”
More than 30 bicycles were lined up, contributed by community organizations and individuals, waiting for their new owners. Children became eligible after visiting at least 12 of the activity stations set up inside and around the Kauai Marriott ballroom.
These included “Be Alert,” the “Blend It Smoothie Station,” “Exercise for a Prize” with HMSA, “Germ Busters-Superheroes Preventing Illness” with the Wilcox Medical Center, “Get a Free Dental Screening” from Hawaii Dental Service, “Have a Sun-Safe Summer” with the American Cancer Society, “Hawaii Concussion Awareness and Management Program,” “Just Be Tobacco Free,” “Ocean Safety,” “Promoting Health Through Exercise and Diet,” “Proper Kid’s Shoe Sizing” with the Wilcox Bone and Joint Center, “Safe Sleep for Babies” with the Wilcox Medical Center-Woman Infant Health, “Rethink Your Drink” with the 4-H Ranchers, “Teddy Bear Clinic” with the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, the “Wheel of Fitness” with AlohaCare, and the “Wheel of Preparedness” with the Kauai Medical Reserve Corps who got help from the Department of Health’s Kristie Smith in providing information on mosquito-borne illnesses.
“We had to do a promotional piece on the Rescue Tube for the hospital,” said Jim Jung, who along with Dr. Monty Downs manned the Ocean Rescue station. “This young boy who was involved said he wanted to be a lifeguard after the photo shoot. Everyone else gets to watch an ocean safety video.”
Rudy, the Wilcox Medical Center Chief Canine Officer, shortened his walk to a section of the Wilcox Physical and Occupational Therapy obstacle course, and Hawaii Life Flight had the Monster Bowling to promote motor skills, balance and hand-eye coordination.
More interactive exhibits included the Kauai Fire Department, the Kauai Police Department, and American Medical Response who had vehicles available for keiki and their parents to view.