A year’s worth of mahalo

Mahalo in 2013

2013 has been filled with helpful people, businesses that give back to the community and volunteers who become friends. We remember to thank our family and friends, but I’d like to take a moment to thank some of the people and businesses that have touched our lives.

Mahalo to our neighborhood parks and volunteer groups at Koko Head District Park for their Easter Egg-stravaganza. Mahalo to our neighborhood libraries for special events, movies, Free Comic Book Day, Star Wars Reads Day (my son won cool Star Wars wall decals!), and Christmas ornaments.

Mahalo to our public school teachers, Karen in first grade and Jackie in second grade. Mahalo to Hawaii Kai Youth Baseball and the volunteer coaches, Chelsea and Justin, and the parent supporters on my son’s baseball team this summer. I really appreciate their time and patience!

Mahalo to local charging station companies Volta and the now-closed Better Place (and the shopping malls that made room for them) for our electric vehicle (we really appreciate the free miles when we run errands far from home).

Mahalo to home improvement stores The Home Depot and Lowe’s for their free monthly kids workshops, teaching them to follow directions and take pride in something they built (my son’s favorite projects were a football goal post game and a race car).

Mahalo to our local shopping centers: Salt Lake Shopping Center for the Easter Egg-stravanganza and Storybook Halloween; Hawaii Kai Towne Center for the Halloween Spooktacular; and Koko Marina Shopping Center for the Halloween Trick-or-Treat and Christmas Carnival.

Mahalo to our local museums and theatres: Bishop Museum for their Xtreme Bugs, giving us a new and up-close perspective of tiny creatures; the Hawaii State Art Museum for their free Second Saturday (we got to paint watercolor notecards with the Hawaii Watercolor Society); the Honolulu Museum of Art and Bank of Hawaii for their free Family Sundays (we had fun with the photo booth during their “Picture This” event); Spauling House for ArtSpree (we enjoyed making clay ornaments with the Hawaii Potter’s Guild); and the Hawaii Opera Theatre for their free Family Day (we learned about state lighting and got to watch the excellent “The Curse of Lou-Ling”).

Mahalo to our local companies who sponsored charity programs: Ala Moana Center for donating $20 on my behalf to DonorsChoose.org (and letting me choose the classroom project); Foodland for donating $350,000 to local schools and non-profits through Give Aloha, a community matching campaign; and the 5210 Let’s Go! Keiki Run (formerly the Keiki Great Aloha Run) and Honolulu 5k For Kids, which donated portions of their registration fees to local schools (my son raced ahead of me!).

Mahalo to our local companies: 7-Eleven for free slurpies on July 11; the Children’s Discovery Center for hosting a keiki swap meet (my son enjoyed selling his toys, meeting customers, and earning money); Panda Express, which gave away free Samurai Surf-and-Turf in April and free honey sesame chicken in October; Watanabe Floral for their Easter coloring contest and Easter Egg Hunt (I was so proud that my son won third place in the coloring contest!); and Central Pacific Bank for free chow mein and crispy gau gee during the holidays. And I can’t forget Costco for their free samples!

Mahalo to family-friendly local community events: Night in Chinatown, the YMCA Healthy Kids Day, the University of Hawaii Astronomy Open House, Independence Day at Maunalua Bay, Children and Youth Day, the Hawaii Fishing and Seafood Festival, the Leeward Discovery Fair, and the Festival of Lights Boat Parade.

What are you thankful for? Who will you thank today?

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