Friday - October 20, 2006
THE DAMP OCTOBER weather couldn’t keep hundreds of folks from showing up to laugh with the Lions at Mamiya Theatre on the Saint Louis campus last Saturday. Raindrops bothered no one as volunteers and supporters of the Kamehameha Lions Club and District 50 Hawaii Lions ate, drank and mingled before an all-star comedy benefit show headed up by Andy Bumatai.
Clarence and Cecelia Izuo at the Kamehameha Lions
Club benefit comedy show
During the pre-show reception, I talked story with Hollywood screenwriter and state director of public relations for Hawaii Lions, Jim Bryan. This is the Lions’ 80th year in the Islands, with 1,800 members statewide and 1.5 million members in 200 countries. “We’re bigger than the U.N.,” Bryan proudly pointed out. From rebuilding homes and schools at no charge, members of this volunteer-run organization come from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds. Bryan adds, “Our motto is ‘we serve.’” And serving the community is truly what they do. I met past district 50 governor, Cecelia Izuo, and her husband, Clarence. Izuo told me that the Lions have given sight to nearly 3,000 people by donating corneal transplants through the Hawaii Lions Eye Bank and Makana Foundation. BTW: Izuo was the Hawaii Lions first female governor! ...
And BTWBTW: My mom, Detta Makaula, was one of 20 in the state (just two of them on Oahu during her time of service) who were certified to do the enucleation of the eyes for those corneal transplants. ... Entertainer Jim Hubbard worked his musical magic during the reception lending to a good mood as the public made their way down the long tables that showcased 25 very unique raffle items. At first glance, folks might have thought the raffle was a silent auction - after all, who would think that the red silk heels worn by Catherine Zeta-Jones in Ocean’s 12
Lina Nakashima, Jasmine Medina, Teri Nanbu and
Sandy Cabanban at Mamiya Theatre
would be up for grabs, or that the black shirt Tom Cruise sported in Mission: Impossible: II could be won with a lucky number, or that Richard Gere‘s tux from Chicago could suddenly be hanging in their closet at home? OMG!! And the cost? Just $10 for 25 raffle tickets. Hats off to Bryan, event coordinator Darryl Matsuo and all the volunteers. ... It’s not often that I get surprised, but all changed last weekend when I showed up to the When Someone Cares Foundation’s benefit golf tournament at the Hawaii Country Club in Kunia. Promoter Steve New, his wife, Leslie, and their daughter Courtney asked me to come to say a few words about breast cancer at the post-tournament luncheon. They explained to me that their foundation focuses on one community project a year, and that they wanted to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness month in 2006. About 100 participants and supporters took their places at Mark Kalilikane‘s Hawaiian Steak House restaurant after completing their round on the green.
Yours truly with the New family from left Steve, Leslie,
Arlene, Courtney and Pat at the When Someone Cares
Foundation’s benefit golf tournament at the Hawaii
Country Club in Kunia
Among them were Arlene New, Pat New, Paulette Valenzuela, Big Al, Kiki Keala, Melissa Yanos, Duane Oyama and Oli Maunakea. Entertainment by emcee and comedian Rodney Villanueva kept the crowd laughing, while music by the group Kamaha’o welcomed guests, followed by more with Courtney’s Acoustic Karma - made up of fellow band members Kaipo Tong, Christian Legaspi, James Bagiao and Kona Purdy. Soon after it was my turn on the mic, but before it was all over, Steve and Courtney had me in tears when they revealed that they put the event together to honor yours truly. Needless to say, I was in shock and then in more tears. My friend, writer Kim Lehano, was there, and as she presented me with a lei, she admitted, “I couldn’t tell you.”
Kauai natives Kehau and Kunane Kaauwai made a trip to Oahu for the event that attracted residents from Waimanalo to Waianae. The men of the group Toa - all brothers - Norris, Donny, Kalili and Pulou Alaisa (absent was fifth brother, Steve) harmonized beautifully with an a cappella rendition of their song, When Someone Cares - same name as the News’ foundation. Performances by Taz Vegas, Les Harris, Uncle Bobo and Kalani Kealoha of Kalaeloa closed out the day, and a gospel rap with Alvin Mikaele and Dennis Keel kept spirits high. I sincerely thank all of you for your pure aloha spirit. Mahalo. E ho’omaika’i kakou i kou ola kino.
E-mail this story | Print this page | Comments (0) | Archive | RSS Comments (0) |
Most Recent Comment(s):