Teddy Arroyo and friends provide gifts for more than 50 keiki

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Coach Teddy Arroyo, in green near center of photo), his friends and associates, and Diane Keeler, the Walmart store manager, welcome more than 50 keiki and their families to gift shopping, Wednesday afternoon.

LIHU‘E — Christmas shopping went up a notch on Wednesday when 51 keiki and their families arrived at the Walmart store in Lihu‘e.

Coach Teddy Arroyo — the Kaua‘i High School assistant coach for football and past president of the Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football League until his “promotion” to regional director for the National Pop Warner Westcon Region — formed a partnership with Arroyo’s Plumbing, his personal nonprofit Triple K Athletics, and the Walmart store to distribute Christmas cheer to the 51 keiki.

Originally scheduled as a gift card distribution, the 51 keiki and their family chaperones were let loose on a shopping spree with a value of more than $100 per child.

Keiki included members of the Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football League’s five associations from Kapa‘a through Kekaha, members of the Boys &Girls Club of Hawai‘i, the Liliuokalani Trust, and the Kamehameha preschools.

“This is for the community,” Arroyo said. “We need to care for our community similar to how Kekaha takes care of their own. See how strong they are? We need to do that for our community.”

Arroyo said he personally knows at least two families who are really struggling during this time of pandemic and economic recovery.

Representatives from The Liliuokalani Trust, the Boys &Girls Club, and the Kamehameha preschools selected families to be part of the giveaway.

Keiki disappeared into the expanse of shoppers, emerging with toys and other gifts for their parents and siblings as well.

Arroyo is no stranger to providing gifts during the holidays, starting from the time he provided bicycles to children who could not afford them.

“This is for the community,” he said. “Merry Christmas!”


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


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