Community blessings

  • Jessica Else / The Garden Island

    Garsie Honjo sits down for a haircut from Windy Kirifi at the Ohana Christian Fellowship Day of Thanksgiving at Kapaa Beach Park Sunday.

  • Jessica Else / The Garden Island

    Carla Heart looks through clothing at the Ohana Christian Fellowship Day of Thanksgiving at Kapaa Beach Park Sunday.

  • Jessica Else / The Garden Island

    Joey Balai moves through the line of volunteers serving turkey dinner at the Ohana Christian Fellowship Day of Thanksgiving at Kapaa Beach Park Sunday.

  • Bill Buley / The Garden Island

    Outstretched arms await volunteer Bobie-Li Orsatelli as she carries prizes to give away at King’s Chapel Harfest Festival on Sunday.

  • Bill Buley / The Garden Island

    Keiki in the youth ministry at King’s Chapel perform during Sunday’s Harvest Festival at the church site in Hanamaulu. Back row from left, Malia Briggs, Ho‘ou Akeo, Josiah Ceda, Maike Brun and Isaiah Ceda. Front row from left, Cecilia Briggs, Charli Camacho and Alamea Nakamura.

KAPAA — Senaida Sagucio was clapping her hands and singing along with the music at King’s Chapel Harvest Fest Sunday afternoon.

“I’m so happy. I like it,” she said.

This was her first time attending the annual outreach offered by the church. She enjoyed the fellowship, the food and yes, the prizes, too, including the carton of Vienna sausage she received minutes earlier from volunteer Bobie-Li Orsatelli.

“Very nice,” she said, smiling.

About 300 adults and keiki visited the Hanamaulu church grounds, where they were greeted by a small army of cheerful, enthusiastic volunteers. A big crowd gathered under the tent to chat, eat and watch the entertainment. Every 15 minutes or so, volunteers would rush out and distribute prizes to delighted guests.

Free dinner, groceries, clothes, electronics and gift cards were part of the fun.

“It’s an awesome way to give back to our community,” Orsatelli said. “They’ve done so much for us so we just want to give them whatever they need, whether it be a bag of rice or a turkey — just to give back to them.”

She knows many go without during the holidays, so she was happy to see so many people come out on a warm evening.

“It’s feels so good, especially since Thanksgiving is coming up,” she said.

Over at Kapaa Beach Park on Sunday morning, Ohana Christian Fellowship’s church elder Benny Lagmay delivered the sermon for Pastor Greg Poole during their annual Day of Thanksgiving luncheon.

Poole had to make an unexpected trip to the Mainland because his mother-in-law passed on Thursday.

“He was really torn on whether to stay or go,” Lagmay said. “It’s good that he’s being with his family. Us all working together, we’ve got it taken care of here.”

Lagmay told the group of about 100 people littered about the Kapaa Beach Park lawn to be thankful in all things and look for lessons in bad circumstances.

“Always be joyful. Never stop praying,” he said during the 15-minute sermon.

Later, volunteers opened a food bank with canned goods and a tent was set up with clothing, bedding and other necessities in a thrift store-style layout.

Carla Heart was among the small crowd that flooded into the clothing area, searching for a blue dress she spotted earlier in the day.

“If I can’t find it here soon I’ll move on to shorts and tank tops, that’s more important,” Heart said.

She continued: “As a homeless person, it’s amazing that they’re doing the dinner, but they’ve got clothes and good bedding here, too, and they have canned foods. It’s amazing.”

Ohana Christian Fellowship volunteer Betty Duarte said donations were pouring in weeks before the event.

“It’s been overwhelming,” she said, smiling. “People have garage sales and then drop off whatever they aren’t selling, we’ve had donations and people dropping so much off.”

A few feet away, Windy Kirifi, owner of The Edge salon, was working her way down a line of people waiting for haircuts.

“It’s great being out here and giving back to the community,” she said.

With enough turkey dinner for about 300 people, volunteers served a line of hungry people while live music echoed through the park.

After getting his own plate of turkey and mashed potatoes, gravy and the rest of the fixings, Joey Balai only had one thing to say:

“Thank Jesus for this beautiful day.”

Steve Franks, pastor of King’s Chapel, said it was exciting to see so many people turnout and to be able to provide them with a bit of a pre-holiday boost.

With so much going on these days, it’s hard to get people together, he said. And there are many who have doubts that everything at the Harvest Fest is free, no strings attached.

But this is a time of the year when many people are low on cash, food and basic necessities, so the church tries to bless them spiritually and materially.

“The main thing is to do our very best to bless the community,” Franks said.


Jessica Else, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or Bill Buley, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or


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