Kylan’s COVID birthday

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Nicole Cowan of Big Brothers, Big Sisters Kaua‘i rolls video as the fire truck, its lights flashing, stops to sing “Happy Birthday” to Kylan Kamala, who seeks comfort from Aunty Rosie, Sunday in Kekaha.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Big Brother Eric Pomroy leads a line of cars while Susan holds up the birthday greeting sign Sunday during the short parade that stopped in front of Little Brother Kylan Kamala’s home in Kekaha.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Big Brother Eric Pomroy offers birthday goodies to Little Brother Kylan Kamala while trying to comply with the social-distancing rule Sunday at Kamala’s home in Kekaha.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Little Brother Kylan Kamala accepts birthday wishes from Big Brother Eric Pomroy Sunday in Kekaha, while a guest videos the proceedings during Kamala’s eighth birthday celebration.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Little Brother Kylan Kamala reacts as Big Brother Eric Pomroy and friends sing “Happy Birthday” to him Sunday in Kekaha.

KEKAHA — How do you celebrate a young birthday during the COVID-19 times of rules and regulations on staying at home and social distancing?

Little Brother Kylan Kamala was enjoying a nice Sunday morning in the swing at his Kekaha home when the deep “Baw-w-p” of a big rig startled the youngster, sending him scrambling around the yard before settling in the comfort of Aunty Rosie, who peeked out the front door.

“It’s Kylan’s birthday,” said Big Brother Eric Pomroy. “We’re just doing something small. The fire trucks will lead a group of us, who will stop in front of Kylan’s house to wish him a happy birthday.”

The pair of fire trucks from the Waimea fire station rumbled to a halt after calling attention to its appearance with flashing lights, sirens and the blaring horn interrupting the drone of a neighbor’s lawn mower.

“It’s a drive-by,” squealed a chorus of young keiki neighboring Kamala’s home.

The strains of the familiar birthday anthem blared from the fire trucks’ public-address sytem, sending the young 8-year-old deeper into the comfort and security of Aunty Rosie.

“It’s alright,” Aunty Rosie said, trying to encourage the youngster to greet his newfound friends. “This is your birthday.”

Nicole Cowan, the director of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Kaua‘i program, rolled video of the proceedings that included the caravan of cars stopping in front of the Kekaha residence with offers of birthday presents being extended from open windows and fluttering streamers.

“Kylan is one of our newer Little Brothers,” Cowan said. “He is totally overwhelmed by this. I always wonder how our Bigs and Littles maintain their connection during this time of being separated. This is very creative.”

Pomroy kept encouraging Kamala out onto the driveway fronting his home.

“We just wanted to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you,” said Pomroy, who got help from a co-worker in arranging to have the fire trucks be part of the celebration. “We have some presents for you, and then we’ll be on our way, leaving you to party with your family. Happy birthday, Kylan.”


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or

  1. Joe Public April 20, 2020 9:48 am Reply


  2. g w pomroy April 20, 2020 2:49 pm Reply

    So very proud of Eric. Happy Birthday to his Little Brother!

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