KAPAA — “Do you know what day it is today?” Josie Pablo, the recreation director at Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital, asked Friday.
From the collection of residents, the reply came, “Dec. 1.”
“This is the start of the holidays,” Pablo said. “From today, we have guests coming to visit you and share the holidays with you.”
The short dialog prefaced the appearance of preschool students from St. Catherine School, who shyly took to the front of the hospital’s auditorium and offered a medley of holiday songs.
“I have a child who goes to St. Catherine’s,” said Jlyn Espinosa, the reservations manager at The Courtyard by Marriott at Coconut Beach. “When we learned St. Catherine’s was going to visit Mahelona Hospital, we thought we would accompany them and present gifts to the residents.”
Among the group arriving with bags of small gifts of toiletry items, Espinosa was joined by Shaun Borges, who recently took over as general manager at the Courtyard, and Michael Farquharson, a corporate vice president from Atlanta.
Farquharson lost little time in helping distribute gifts and joining Lalaine Rabaino of the hospital staff in handing out cookies and refilling juice cups for the St. Catherine students following their musical presentation.
“This is truly special,” Farquharson said. “Something like this gives purpose to the residents. Look at them smiling, laughing and having a good time. My mother, who is blind from glaucoma, is in a home in Georgia, and they don’t have anything that comes close to this. This is really good.”
Following the presentations, Farquharson joined the Courtyard crew in touring the hospital’s courtyard, which is being developed for the Monday night tree-lighting festivities.
Pablo invited them to attend the festivities, which start at 5 p.m.
“We definitely want to be a part of this next year,” Farquharson said while Jaye Youn was already scoping out the yard to see where the Courtyard could fit. “We’ll be here.”