The fairy godfather cometh

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Boys & Girls Club, Kapaa Clubhouse member Keoni Dasalia-Mundon waits for his ride on the facility’s basketball court against a backdrop of other clubhouse members peering from behind and seated in front of the manicured hedge Tuesday afternoon.

JR Guerrero was planning on doing yard work Sunday at the Boys &Girls Club Kapaa Clubhouse.

When he arrived, the organization’s director was greeted by a surprise. The yardwork, including trimming of hedges and cutting the long grass, had already been done.

“It’s the fairy godfather,” said Tina Albao, Boys &Girls Club Kauai director. “This is a fairly large piece of property — too big for the clubhouse members to take care of, and with the recent rains, the grass grows quickly. We don’t know who did it, but whoever did the work did a great job. They even hauled off the opala after mulching the hedges.”

Albao said this is not the first time the fairy godfather has visited the facility and done landscaping work.

“We don’t know who did this, but we want to say thank you and how much we appreciate this gesture,” Albao said. “This is a true Thanksgiving story — we just want the fairy godfather to know how much this helps the clubhouse and its members. Whenever he shows up during the time the clubhouse is closed, it’s always yardwork and landscaping, and it’s when we need work done.”

She said the Boys &Girls Club is in the process of getting the state Department of Education’s permission so renovation work can start on the facility that was established following Hurricane Iniki.

“This is our flagship facility,” Albao said. “When it was formed in 1992, it was a community project designed so parents had a place to leave their children while they went off to do repairs from the hurricane. The place needs to be worked on because there has been no major work done on it since we started. Without the long-term lease, it’s not worthwhile to invest in renovations.”

Currently, the Kapaa clubhouse serves about 90 students on a daily basis, including Pulele Kuhaulua, an eighth-grader at Kapaa Middle School who is the clubhouse’s Youth of the Year candidate.

Other Boys &Girls Club facilities include the Lihue site that serves about 120 students daily at the location that recently saw the completion of a new teen center and was the beneficiary of an air conditioning system donated by Island Comfort. The West Kauai Boys &Girls Club serves about 45 students daily.

“Having someone do this for our clubhouse is really nice,” said Kuhaulua, who has been a member for nearly six years. “This is a really big space so it must have been really hard work. It’s nice and clean now.”

Albao said having the place neat and trimmed helps in the process of securing a memorandum of understanding from the state.

“We don’t really have a budget for this,” Albao said. “On occasion we’ll contract someone to do work, but for the most part, JR is the one who handles this because it’s just too big for the club members to do. It’s a fairly large piece, and when the rains come, the grass really shoots up.”

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

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