Even though Madge Kahanaoi is still recovering from knee surgery in May, she’s going to come out and volunteer as she’s done since 1998 with her family at the Lanakila Rehabilitation Center Holiday Warehouse Sale Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The craft sale will be held at the Halawa Industrial Park at 99-1132 Iwaena St. (instead of the Lanakila facility on Bachelot Street).
Kahanaoi’s children James, Edward, Paul, Steven, Karen, and Ruby Vespoli all volunteer at this event by serving up Hawaiian plates, burgers, teriyaki chicken and teriyaki beef. Her five grandchildren - Justine, Peter, Danielle, Dominic and Joslyn - who range in age from 19 to 26, are eager to lend a hand with the country store selling breads, fruits and vegetables. They’ll also be cooking food on the grill for the festivities.
Kahanaoi, a Farrington High grad, lets out a big laugh when people ask her, “Is this all your kids?” She says it makes her whole family feel good.
“We like to get together, and we like to offer our help to the community,” says Kahanaoi, who is a work trainer for Lanakila’s Rehabilitation for challenged lives. “It keeps us close, makes us a close family.”
Funds from the event go to programs that support the work that Kahanaoi does at Lanakila to help its participants to become independent by training them for mass food production jobs. She teaches them what to do in the kitchen to prepare hot meals, put them on a plate, scooping the entree into the sections. The students also learn how to clean and wash dishes. They learn how to make salad, how to butter bread, and how to package the food for senior citizens. Other programs at Lanakila include teaching folks crafts such as making bead necklaces and sewing shirts and aprons.
The craft sale includes Christmas decorations, pillows, kitchen supplies, gifts, dolls, bags and plants for sale. Besides the food, there will be cheesecake, and apple and blueberry pies.
For about 20 years, when Kahanaoi used to work at the Kaneohe Marine Corps base, she would bring the whole family down to the BayFest to help out serving food and drinks. That was before the Waianae resident started working at Lanakila in 1998.
In her free time, Kahanaoi enjoys going to the movies, and spending weekends with the family, especially when they play bingo together. No rest for the weary - Kahanaoi reports back to work two days after the craft sale.
For more information about the Lanakila sale, call 531-0555.
- Linda Dela Cruz
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