A year’s worth of mahalo

Mahalo 2015

Every day, people volunteer their time and talents to make someone else’s day better. Here are just of the few people and organizations that enriched our lives in 2015:

Mahalo to our public school teachers, Dawn in third grade, Terrie who coordinated the speech festival, Ross in summer school, and Kelcie in fourth grade. Mahalo to Shifu Vernon, who introduced my son to kung fu and Kehau, who taught a basketball clinic. Mahalo to the instructors and volunteers at the Saturday Gene-ius Day Program (my son loves his lab coat).

Mahalo to our neighborhood parks, museums, libraries, and volunteer groups – Koko Head District Park for their ceramics studio, Easter Egg-stravaganza, and free children’s classes; the Hawaii State Art Museum for their Second Saturdays (my favorite art project was watercolor painting); our neighborhood libraries for the fun and philosophical “Happy” (Brittni and Lavour are awesomely talented!), Free Comic Book Day, summer reading programs, afternoon movie, Star Wars Reads Day, and Spooky Halloween Laboratory.

Mahalo to our local companies and shopping centers: Home Depot for their Kids Workshops (my son’s favorite projects this year were a chalkboard and jet); Olomana Golf Club for hosting a Hawaii Junior Golf Day where my son could practice hitting brightly-colored tennis balls at a “golfopotomus”; Watanabe Floral for their Easter Egg Hunt; 7-Eleven for free slurpees on July 11; and Koko Marina Shopping Center for the Halloween Trick-or-Treat and Festival of Lights Boat Parade.

Mahalo for family-friendly events: the 5210 Let’s Go! Keiki Run, which donated money to local schools; the Mauka to Makai Expo at the Waikiki Aquarium; the Hawaii Book and Music Festival, where we met and sang along with PBS’ Steve Songs; the ESPN Sports Festival, where my son tried out rugby and tennis; the 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular at Magic Island; the Children and Youth Day 3k Fun Run at Kakaako Beach Park; and the SOEST Open House at UH Manoa, where we learned about explosions and ocean waves.

And a special mahalo to KHON2 and Living808, who sponsored a “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” prize pack giveaway and chose me as a winner! It was an amazing holiday gift.

What are your favorite events and celebrations from 2015? How have you made your community better?

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