Their time to shine

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Marlina Vea, visiting from Fort Worth, Texas, shows off some of the craft items that will be available at the County of Kauai Senior Food and Craft Fair Saturday at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kekaha Senior Centers’ Julie Lopez waits to relieve Flora Moreno at the Chinese pretzel station Tuesday at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kekaha Senior Center’s Lourdes Domingo watches as the county Department of Parks and Recreation’s Ku‘ulei Takashima and Melanie Okamoto try their hand at making Chinese pretzels Tuesday at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center.

Marlina Vea, visiting from Fort Worth, Texas, was glad she came to help make Chinese pretzels on Tuesday at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center.

“I have a set at home in Texas,” Vea said. “I just didn’t know how to make them. Now, I want to go home and try this out.”

The Chinese pretzels that will be among the offerings by the Kekaha Senior Center are based on a recipe from Kiko Okihara, one of the center’s members who is 98 years young.

The Kekaha Senior Center’s offerings will be joined by those from other senior centers around the island when the doors to the County of Kauai Senior Food and Craft Fair open at 9 a.m. Saturday at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.

A silent auction and prizes are part of the fun.

What is a YoYo?

No, it’s not the toy. Instead, it is a template used to create fabric discs that can be used in crafting.

“We found a YoYo maker,” said Lola Cruz of the Kekaha Senior Center, demonstrating the resourcefulness and ingenuity of kupuna. “We can do a lot of things, like adding a wooden head and coming up with a YoYo doll. We just have to sew the material.”

The end result is a cute, flexible doll that can be a fob for keys, or even a smartphone.

When combined with the offerings from senior centers in Kilauea, Kapaa, Lihue, Koloa, Kalaheo, Hanapepe, Kaumakani, Waimea and Kekaha, the fair is a showcase of na kupuna achievements in many areas, including recycling, ingenuity and resourcefulness.

The added plus is the public is able to purchase items for their own use, or as an early start to holiday shopping.

“Going early is definitely something to do,” said Melanie Okamoto, senior activities coordinator with the county Department of Parks and Recreation. “A lot of the products sell fast because the seniors know of the quality of other centers, and they do buy from each other.

Entertainment is provided by some of the Parks and Recreation staff, and the seniors themselves.

Proceeds from the event that will run until 1 p.m. go to the participating senior centers.

“The funds they make get set aside for the special events, like in the case of Kekaha, they host Mother’s Day and Father’s Day luncheons and, sometimes, get together for the holidays,” Okamoto said. “Everything goes back to the centers.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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