LIHU‘E — Chad Tangalin and Jojo Kawamura were not on hand Thursday when Kaua‘i Hospice inaugurated its Lanterns of Life before an audience limited to hospice staff.
“They’re tied up making more hearts,” said Kaua‘i Hospice Executive Director Tricia Yamashita. “This Lanterns of Life is their brainchild, and I have lei for them. I’ll make sure we get the lei to them.”
Yamashita said the annual hospice Fourth of July fundraiser was a victim of the pandemic.
“We couldn’t have our annual Trees of Remembrance, and there is no candlelight vigil because of the COVID-19,” she said. “This is the brainchild of Chad and Jojo. We can remember our loved ones who are not here through the hearts that decorate the lanterns. This is such a peaceful event following a year filled with the pandemic. What a great way to end the year and hope for a better new year.”
The Lanterns of Love are illuminated daily through New Year’s Day from 6 to 9 p.m. at the hospice Harry &Jeanette Weinberg Center for Compassion at 4457 Pahe‘e Street adjacent to the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative offices in Lihu‘e.
The public is invited to walk around the facility ringed with 240 lanterns. Face masks and social distancing are required.
Additionally, lanterns in memory of loved ones can be ordered online at kauaihospice.org/lanterns-of-love/.
“We have been getting good response to the hearts that are created by Chad and Jojo,” Yamashita said. “So far, about half of the available lanterns have been reserved.”
There are three lantern types to choose from online. The first is for one name, and one descriptive word that describes a loved person. The second choice allows for two names and includes an ampersand (&), and the third choice allows for a family name and up to three names.
Reserved lanterns will be designed and placed by Kaua‘i Hospice.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.