Weaving aloha

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Jackie Williams of the ReMax Kapaa and Cyrila Pycha sort through some of the ti leaf lei and fresh ti leaves that were dropped off, Monday for the Lei off Aloha.

KAPAA — People wishing to contribute ti leaf lei to the “Lei of Aloha for World Peace” project are asked to weave their mana‘o, aloha, love and support, said Cyrila Pycha, Kauai coordinator for the project that will send a lei to New Zealand in support of victims of the recent shooting.

“This is not just a lei,” Pycha said. “We are connected. This is the Kauai addition to the project that was started in Maui by my brother, Ron Panzo, owner of Nalu’s South Shore Grill in Kihei.”

The goal of the project is to create a lei a mile long, including additions from Big Island, Oahu and Kauai. Once completed, the lei will be blessed on Maui before being taken to New Zealand.

People on Kauai wishing to contribute can drop off their lei, preferably 100 feet in length, or whatever length they can create, by Wednesday afternoon at the Re/Max Kapaa office in the Kauai Village Shopping Center.

Pycha said this is not the first time Kauai people have created a Lei of Aloha.

“We created lei for the shooting in Florida where 19 students were shot,” Pycha said. “We also made a lei for Las Vegas for the 2017 shooting where 49 people lost their lives.”

Anthony Fluke, a Maui musician, said, “Sadly, your help is needed again as we work to weave a lei of aloha for New Zealand. We are making another lei for the victims and families of the attack, our cultural brothers and sisters of Aotearoa. These lei were made because there was a connection. We go with our feeling.”

Pycha said she started collecting lei Friday.

“This is one of those things you can do while you sit and watch TV,” she said. “The last time we did lei of aloha, we got a lot of help especially from school students and exceeded the goal. My brother calls it a God wink where people start talking, and by doing and making the connection, everything falls into place.”

Pycha said the benevolence of her brother Ron Panzo is also hitting home. His efforts helped send supplies and funding for the recovery on the North Shore following the April flooding.

“He’s quite a community leader,” Pycha said. “When he says ‘we’re going to do,’ people come out to Nalu’s to help. He and his motorcycle brothers and sisters did a big school drive to help out Kauai’s school students, too.”

“Our heartfelt prayers for all 49 victims, their families, the many injured, and citizens of New Zealand,” Pycha said. “Together, as ordinary people, we give from our hearts as we become part of an extraordinary community.”

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