They did it for Russell

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Mark Horst talks with Harold Rosa as Paula Rosa is interviewed by a videographer in front of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch van filled with food from the food drive Sunday at the Historic County Building in Lihu‘e before the motorcycle ride to honor the late Russell Haluapo.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Paula Rosa deposits some of the 1,010 pounds of food collected Sunday during the food drive ride coordinated by the various motorcycle clubs on Kaua‘i because “Russell (Haluapo) Would’ve Done It,” at the Historic County Building in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Larry Rivera, right, sings at the Historic County Building in Lihu‘e before the group of motorcycle riders gathers for a short prayer for the late Russell Haluapo Sunday during the coordinated food drive ride by the various motorcycle clubs on Kaua‘i because “Russell Would’ve Done It.”

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Michelle Panoke of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch joins the prayer for the late Russell Haluapo Sunday during the food drive coordinated by the various motorcycle clubs on Kaua‘i at the Historic County Building in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Michelle Panoke of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch, far left, joins the prayer for the late Russell Haluapo Sunday when various motorcycle clubs gathered for a food drive because “Russell Would’ve Done It,” at the Historic County Building in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Endeavor Hammon checks out the sea of motorcycles with Nick and Harbor Hammon Sunday at the food drive ride at the Historic County Building in Lihu‘e coordinated by various Kaua‘i motorcycle clubs because “Russell Would’ve Done It.”

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Eric Lazar moves out of the way Sunday when motorcycle riders led by John Copeland start their convoy to the North Shore during the food drive in honor of the late Russell Haluapo at the Historic County Building in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The presidents of various Kaua‘i motorcycle clubs lead off the convoy to the North Shore Sunday from the Historic County Building in Lihu‘e during the food drive ride held in honor of the late Russell Haluapo.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Roger Ridgley and John Copeland line up motorcycle riders Sunday during the food drive ride to the North Shore at the Historic County Building in Lihu‘e.

LIHU‘E — Larry Rivera, Kaua‘i songwriter and entertainer, said he had to come Sunday to the “Russell Would’ve Done It” food drive coordinated by various motorcycle clubs on the island.

“Russell Haluapo and I would meet at Burger King in Kapa‘a to talk story,” Rivera said. “I have video of him when he fixed the pipes under the cement. I was ready to call him and have him fix my toilet when I saw the news on television. I was devastated. I had to come and maybe do a couple of songs for the motorcycle people.”

Starting with “Aloha Begins With Me,” dedicated to ending the current rioting taking place around the country, Rivera sang about the legacy left behind by Haluapo before the several hundred who gathered with contributions of food and money because Russell Would’ve Done It.

Several hundred motorcycle riders representing the various motorcycle clubs on the island brought together 1,010 pounds of food and $1,400 in cash, a vast improvement over the previous May 3 drive when Haluapo and John Copeland had to massage the less-than-$200 sitting in the goldfish bowl prior to the start of the ride.

Just days later, Haluapo was called away by the Lord to do work elsewhere.

The motorcycle riders said the Sunday ride to the North Shore was not a memorial for the person whose benevolence reached and touched many individuals and groups on the island. A more formal memorial is in the planning stages.

Instead, the food drive was an opportunity for the motorcycle riders, other groups like the Kaua‘i Ocean Recreation Exerience, and individuals to gather, offer a short prayer for Haluapo, and convoy because Russell Would’ve Done It.

•••

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

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