‘Operation Aloha’ A Go In Waialua

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - November 11, 2009
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Volunteers stand ready to serve a Thanksgiving feast to the North Shore’s needy at last year’s ‘Operation Aloha’ luncheon in Waialua. Photo courtesy of NCTAMS PAC.

For the 20th year, Operation Aloha will serve a luncheon feast to about 350 disadvantaged North Shore residents from 10 a.m. to noon on Thanksgiving at Waialua Community Center.

Thanks to a yearlong collaboration between the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific and the community, the project also has amassed a record 15,000 pounds of non-perishable food for the North Shore Food Bank and raised more than $10,000 to support the community center’s daily programs for needy and homeless families.

“Volunteers from NCTAMS PAC and their families dedicated more than 1,100 volunteer hours,” explained Chief Yeoman Corey K. Mincey, manager of the 450-volunteer effort. “It is extremely rewarding to see the joy and happiness in peoples’ faces as we share a meal. Some of them live pretty rough lives. It places in perspective the true meaning of Thanksgiving, which is not only to be thankful for what we have, but to share what we have.”

Students from Waialua Elementary and St. Michaels’ School, along with Wahiawa Girl Scouts, decorate the facility for the feast, which includes a visit from Santa and other homegrown entertainment. Molly’s Smokehouse in Wahiawa prepares the meal with money raised from car washes and golf tournaments conducted by JN Automotive. Waialua Community Association is a key player in the event, which draws corporate help from Walmart, Costco, Anna Miller’s, Napoleon’s Bakery, Ted’s Bakery and Turtle Bay Resort.

“It’s also a way for us to give back to the community,” said Mincey.“Operation Aloha provides our sailors and family members with a great opportunity to demonstrate honor, courage and commitment to the Navy through truly caring for their community. The overall result is building on the relationship between the Navy and the local community.” To offer help, call 653-0069.

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