Helemano Will Showcase Progress At Open House

Wednesday - August 06, 2008
By Kerry Miller
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Helemano Plantation will have an open house Friday and Saturday to introduce its Aloha Gardens Project to the community.

Designed for seniors, the project encompasses an elder care/wellness center and Camp Pineapple 808.

“(We’ve) been working on coming up with a wellness center for seniors to have a safe place to go during the day,” said Helemano’s program director, Ron Renshaw. There’s really nothing out this side of the island, Central Oahu/North Shore.” Plans have been in development for this project since 2006.

Following a short ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, open house guests may take tours of Helemano’s Hawaiian, Victoria Rose and Asian gardens and learn more about the elder care/wellness center and camp.

Any senior citizen on Oahu is welcome to take advantage of the new center, Renshaw said, and it’s expected to open by December or January.

“We were hoping to have it open in time for 8-8-08,” he added. “The building is almost finished.”

Once completed, it will house a reading room, meditation room, music room and a therapeutic room for guests to get massages from licensed massage therapists who will volunteer their time to come in. Liberty’s Beauty Salon donated two chairs, which Renshaw said are for shampoos, a shave or to help them just “feel like they’re getting pampered.” The salon also donated cabinets and beauty supplies.

“A beauty school has people that are training to do hairstyling and things like that for them,” he added.

The center is designed for both small group and individual activities, and will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Opportunities for the Retarded Inc., the nonprofit parent company of Helemano Plantation, was established by president and CEO Susanna Cheung as a community where the developmentally disabled can live, work and have productive lives.

They have obtained three 15-seat, wheelchair-accessible vans through the state Department of Transportation. They will be used to transport seniors to and from the wellness center from elsewhere on the island.

Located on former pineapple lands, Camp Pineapple 808 will provide a camp experience for seniors, with actual cabins that are ADA-compliant. Through partnerships with North Shore groups, Renshaw said the camp will offer daytime and nighttime activities.

The Open House is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 64-1510 Kamehameha Hwy. just north of Wahiawa.

For more information, call 622-3929.

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