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Back to School Bash ready to fly

LIHU‘E — The Eighth annual Back to School Bash is ready to launch Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kukui Grove Center.

“We have Miss Hawai‘i Lauren Teruya coming to help us,” said Jeannie Odo of the state Department of Education Kaua‘i Complex Area, and one of the core organizer for the event.

“She’s a teacher and wanted to come to help us. I’m going to arrange to have her meet the teachers from the Delta Kappa Gamma and the Alpha Delta Kappa who’s going to be helping.”

Odo and Nellie Caberto of the DOE coordinated the flow of workers Wednesday that made short work of packing over 2,500 backpacks of school supplies that will be distributed during the event that is Kaua‘i’s biggest school-supplies giveaway.

Several hundred volunteers from the list of community sponsors, including title sponsor Hawai‘i Foodservice Alliance, filled a section of the former Sports Authority store to prepare the backpacks that will be given away to students and families that have been pre-registered.

“You must have a registration to get a school-supplies bag,” said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack of KGC. “The registration tells you what time you’re supposed to pick up your backpack. For those who don’t have the registration, there will be a time toward the end of the day when the unclaimed backpacks will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.”

The bash returns to an in-person format this year, with families and students being treated as VIPs by the offering of student talent, activities, family resources and giveaways in addition to the school supplies backpacks. Some of the day’s entertainment include performances by Tsunami Taiko, the Hawai‘i Children’s Theatre, Premier Martial Arts and more, with a grand prize of a weekend stay at the Royal Sonesta Kaua‘i Resort Lihu‘e.

“We’ll be having an activity table for Back to School Bash,” said Jean Souza,
manager of Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery that hosted a successful coding workshop series last week. “Then on Sunday we’ll start our book reading with foster grandparent volunteer Ihi Kaneali‘i, who will be reading from a book on high tides. There will be copies of that book available for families, too.”

Ho‘ola Lahui Hawai‘i will host a pop-up vaccine clinic from 9:30 a.m. to noon where anyone age 5 through adult can receive COVID-19 vaccine doses or boosters.

“As a reminder, people getting their second dose or a booster shot should bring their vaccine card,” said Susan Oshiro-Taogoshi of Ho‘ola Lahui. “We’re only offering the vaccines for children age 5 and up.”

The shopping center tenants add to the excitement with their individual offerings, including the anniversary sale at Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i, and the Bethany Hamilton promotion at the Flip Flop Shops, where shoppers for the Bethany Hamilton line of footwear get a specially created Bethany Hamilton poster with their purchase. Hamilton is scheduled to make an in-person appearance at the Flip Flop Shops’ Koloa location at the end of the month.

Some of the many hands that helped to pack the more than 2,500 backpacks came from title sponsor Hawai‘i Foodservice Alliance, KGC, Hawai‘i Building and Maintenance crew that provides maintenance service for the center, DOE teachers, principals, and even Kaua‘i Area Complex Superintendent Paul Zina, Kaua‘i’s credit unions including Hawai‘iUSA Federal Credit Union, Delta Kappa Gamma, Alpha Delta Kappa, Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative, Child &Family Service, Aqua Engineers, the Kaua‘i Board of Realtors and its affiliated firms, Kumu’s Cupboard, Star 94 radio, KQNG Radio Group, the Olelo Christian Academy and many others.

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Source: The Garden Island

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