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August 2008

Hawai`i News

Aloha Festivals Announces Parade Will Continue

Parade Will Be Part of Weekend Celebrating Hula; Continued Support Needed

Hula dancers with `uli`uli dance their way in last year's Aloha Festivals Floral Parade in Honolulu.
Photo courtesy of Aloha Festivals


Last month we ran a story about two important cultural events in Hawai`i that appeared to be losing support: the Kamehameha Day parade in June and the Aloha Festivals Floral Parade in September. Here is an update:

HONOLULU – Aloha Festivals is pleased to announce that its Floral Parade is no longer in jeopardy of being cancelled. An outpouring of kōkua from local businesses and organizations has ensured that the parade will continue this year and remain a vital part of one of Hawai‘i’s best-known cultural celebrations.

“We are extremely grateful for all the aloha we have received. Thanks to the efforts of our many friends and partners in the community, we will be able to continue the Aloha Festivals Floral Parade as planned,” said Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, president of Aloha Festivals’ executive board.

The Hawaii Jaycees put together a “Save the Parade” campaign that included both person-to-person fundraising efforts by its members and the creation of a fundraising Web site. Victor Punua Sr., an emeritus Aloha Festivals board member, also made a generous personal donation. Contributions by the City & County of Honolulu, Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association, NCL America, Hilton Grand Vacations, Anthology Marketing Group and Milici Valenti Ng Pack Advertising ensured that enough funds were raised.

“We also feel that it is important to recognize the continued support of all of our sponsors and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. Aloha Festivals would not be possible without their financial support,” added Nakanelua-Richards.

“The Aloha Festivals is a wonderful event for Hawai‘i’s families, so we were happy to help raise funds to continue one of the most popular aspects of the celebration,” said Hawaii Jaycees President Patrick Tomiyasu. “The Hawaii Jaycees helped create the Aloha Festivals over 60 years ago, so the histories of our two organizations are connected. It made sense for us to help continue this long-running tradition for future generations of kama‘aina and visitors.”

While Aloha Festivals has raised enough funds to hold this year’s events, it still needs the long-term support of the community through its on-going fundraising efforts.

Individuals who want to help support Aloha Festivals can purchase a ribbon for $5 starting August 1. The iconic ribbon has a design that reflects this year’s theme. All proceeds are used to continue the Aloha Festivals tradition in our community. In addition, interested nonprofit organizations can sell ribbons as a fundraiser in support of their own projects as well as Aloha Festivals.

The theme of this year’s Aloha Festivals is “Hula, The Art of Hawaiian Dance,” celebrating hula and presenting Hawai‘i’s history and culture through this unique art form.


~from Aloha Festivals. For more information and a schedule of events, go to www.alohafestivals.com or call (808) 589-1771.


Hawai`i Athletes at 2008 Beijing Olympics

More Than Just Bryan Clay Carrying Hawai`i's Olympic Torch

By Duane Shimogawa

The Summer Olympics is upon us once again and for many in Hawai`i, it’ll be a time to cheer on a good number of athletes that not only represent an entire country, but the Aloha State as well. Nine Hawai`i athletes are heading to Beijing to compete in the Olympics starting this month. They are volleyball players Robyn Ah Mow-Santos, Lindsey Berg and Clay Stanley, judo competitor Taylor Takata and wrestler Clarissa Chun, decathlete Bryan Clay, soccer player Natasha Kai, softball athlete Lovieanne Jung and water polo player Brandon Brooks.

This group of stars are no strangers to winning at the highest level of world competition. Clay won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics, Ah Mow-Santos and Berg helped the USA team capture a bronze at that 2004 Olympics and in Sydney 2000 as well.

Here’s a brief description of these athletes:

Let’s get things started with decathlete Bryan Clay, the Castle grad and silver medalist born in Texas but moved to Hawai`i at the age of three and grew up in Honolulu, where he lived until he left for college in the fall of 1998. He attended and graduated from a small Christian school in Southern California, Azusa Pacific University.
Former State Basketball Player of the Year Brandon Brooks won’t be strapping up his laces for Beijing – instead he’ll be donning a red-white-and blue Speedo as the goalie for the U.S. water polo team at this year’s Olympics. The Punahou and UCLA grad also played for the U.S. in the 2004 games.
Wahiawa’s Taylor Takata will be making his first Olympic appearance after missing out on a spot in the 2004 games. Takata had entered the 2004 Olympic Trials after winning the 2001 and 2002 Pan American Championships in the 60 kg class, but the U.S. did not have a spot at that weight. Takata moved up one weight and won the 2004 National Championships at 66 kg, but failed to secure a spot in Sydney.
Kapolei’s Clarissa Chun is among the many surprises on the women’s side at the 2008 U.S. Olympic wrestling trials. Chun’s upset of 2004 Olympic Bronze Medalist Patricia Miranda may have been the biggest. Since the Athens games, Miranda added a 2006 World Championship Bronze Medal to the World’s Silver Medals she owned from 2000 and 2003, but she won’t get a chance to earn a second Olympic medal after Chun shocked her by winning the best-of-three final at trials, two matches to none.
Kahuku’s Natasha Kai is not the most decorated player on the U.S. team as far as statistics go. She is, however, the most decorated player when it comes to tattoos. Of her 19 tattoos, her most prominent one is a sleeve tattoo depicting a traditional Polynesian design. She also has the following message inscribed above her right hip: “appreciate the moment, the most precious treasure is my heart, when I share it with you, protect it, as if it was your own.” Her most recent additions are stars on the back of her neck that resemble the stars on the U.S. uniform.
The second of two setters on the U.S. Olympic Women’s volleyball team born and raised in Honolulu, Lindsey Berg makes her second Olympic appearance in Beijing. As with the 2004 games, she will split time with fellow Hawaiian and setter Robyn Ah Mow-Santos.
Ah Mow-Santos was the starting setter for all seven matches in Sydney in 2000 and helped the U.S. finish fourth. She started each of the six matches at the Athens games, where she helped the U.S. finish in a tie for fifth. Ah Mow-Santos captained the U.S. at the 2007 World Cup, where Team USA placed third and thus qualified for the 2008 Olympics. The 32-year-old Hawaiian plays professionally in Switzerland for VBC Volero Zurich.
Clayton Iona Stanley graduated from Kaiser HS (O`ahu) where he played basketball. His father Jon Stanley is a member of the Volleyball Hall of Fame and was on the 1968 Men’s Olympic Volleyball Team. Clayton began playing volleyball when he was 17 and continued at UH-Mānoa (opposite) from 1997 to 2001 where he ranked in the Top 15 of the nation.
Lovieanne Jung, who lived in Hawai`i until her family moved to California when she was three, plays women’s softball and comes from a diverse heritage. Her father William, is Chinese and Lithuanian and her mother Gloria, is Filipino, Spanish and Hawaiian. Jung’s mother named her after Lovie Howell, the character on the TV show Gilligan’s Island.

Hawai`i has more than enough athletes to root for at this year’s Olympics. All that’s left to do is to sit back, relax and hope there are golden memories for Hawai`i’s Olympians.

Duane Shimogawa is a news reporter for KHNL News 8 in Honolulu. He is from Kaua'i and moved back to the islands after he was a reporter/fill-in anchor at KCFW in Kalispell, Montana.  Prior to that he was a reporter/photographer at KNDO in Yakima, Washington. He's also served as sports editor of The Garden Island newspaper in Lihu'e and as a radio announcer at KFMN on Kaua'i. Duane interned at KING in Seattle. He has a BA in broadcast journalism from Central Washington University in Ellensburg. He's glad to be back in Hawai'i near his family and friends.


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