Mahalo in 2016

Mahalo 2016

Today, I’d like to show my appreciation for some of the people and organizations that have made a positive impact on our lives in 2016:

Mahalo to our public school teachers, Kelcie in fourth grade, Amber who advised the science fair participants, Terrie who coordinated the speech festival, Deanne in summer school, and Kelsi in fifth grade. Mahalo to instructors Jessica and Jessie and all the volunteers at the UH Manoa Saturday Gene-ius Day Program (the graduation extravaganza was fantastic!). Mahalo to inspirational Kaiser High School students for organizing a Play180! Sports Clinic to encourage kids to have healthy lifestyles.

Mahalo to our neighborhood parks, museums, libraries, and volunteer groups: Koko Head District Park for their ceramics studio; our neighborhood libraries for Free Comic Book Day and summer reading programs.

Mahalo to our local companies and shopping centers: POP Fishing and Marine for their family-friendly Expo (the ice raft was a big hit); Home Depot for their Kids Workshops (we love the trophy cell phone holder for Father’s Day); and Koko Marina Shopping Center for the Halloween Trick-or-Treat and Hawaii Kai Holiday Parade.

Mahalo for family-friendly events: the Night in Chinatown, where I tried some delicious Nutella brownies; the 5210 Let’s Go! Keiki Run, which donated money to local schools; Hawaii Junior Golf Day at the Ko’olau Golf Club, where my son got some one-on-one coaching; the Paliku Arts Festival at Windward Community College, where we made wonderful 3D clay paperweights; YMCA Healthy Kids Day  (my vote for best activity: the obstacle course) at the Bishop Museum (“Sweet,” the World of Candy,  was a marvelously fun exhibit); the Mauka to Makai Expo at the Waikiki Aquarium, which gave away free native plants; the ESPN 1420 Sports Festival, where my son challenged himself to “Big Red”; the 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular at Magic Island; the Best of Honolulu Festival, where we treated ourselves to shaved ice and Slush Puppies; and the Children and Youth Day 3k Fun Run at Kakaako Beach Park (16-year old event director Jordan Jones did an amazing job!).

Mahalo for generous giveaways: free eggrolls from Panda Express on Chinese New Year; free Jumbo Jacks in the “Million Burger Giveaway” from Jack-in-the-Box; free Slurpees from 7-Eleven on July 11; and the BK Scholars fundraiser from Burger King (free cones, cookies, and more for just $1).

Thank you for making my days brighter with books and chocolate! This year, I was lucky to win a few books – Scott Sigler’s “Alight” from Random House, Brenda Novak’s “The Secrets She Kept” from GoodReads, and Blake Crouch’s “Dark Matter” from Read It Forward – and a bag of chocolates made by Fine Ass Chocolates from

And thank you, Better Hawaii readers, for helping to make Hawaii better.

Which events and celebrations have you attended? Who has helped to make your community better?

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