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Hearts, football, whales and a lot more

Valentine’s Day, mixed with doses of marine education, the National Football League Super Bowl LV, the Chinese New Year and a fundraising art showcase created excitement to launch a week-long celebration of love, hearts and more at Kukui Grove Center.

“We can’t have the crowds because of the COVID-19 rules and guidelines,” said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack of KGC. “In an effort at spreading things out so everyone can enjoy the celebration, we’re spreading out Valentine’s to last the entire week throughout the shopping center.”

Highlighting the week-long celebration, the mall will have its Shop and Dine program.

“We want people to be able to use the dining gift cards for Valentine’s when Jenny Ortal and her family decorates the food-court area to provide atmosphere for the Sunday dining,” McFerrin-Warrack said. “We’ll have live music as well. Shoppers wanting to enjoy the National Football League Super Bowl LV can dine at Kalapaki Joe’s.”

Under terms of the Shop and Dine program, Kukui Grove shoppers can collect receipts from their purchases. Starting Monday, shoppers can redeem every $100 in receipts for a $20 gift card from any of the shopping center’s eateries.

Friday marked the opening of the week-long celebration when four vendors took over a specially-decorated space. The vendors, including Tese Lugo, who enjoyed sales of her fabric face masks during the holidays, return today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Emilia Knudsen and her beach findings are available only today because she’ll be busy preparing for the special Valentine’s Day she is planning for kupuna at the Regency at Puakea.

“Na kupuna really need our love and support now,” Knudsen said while working on a Valentine’s Day card between shoppers Friday. “They’ve been isolated for nearly a year because of the COVID-19.”

Funds raised during her appearance at KGC will help defray some of the costs of getting flowers, making chocolate-covered strawberries and more for the kupuna party.

A portion of Liliana Estep’s shell-craft jewelry sales will be contributed to the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, and Chelsea Januszewski lost her daughter Soul to Emilia’s card-making. Januszewski offers artwork created from building contractors’ end cuts, or leftovers from jobs that would normally end up in the landfill.

Today also marks the anniversary of Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery, which has yet to opn its doors because of the pandemic.

Instead, a new marine-wildlife panel that was collaborated with the OceanFest group was installed near the mall’s Keiki Korner play area. Tying in with the panel installation, Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery, in partnership with several community groups, is offering free, grab-and-go education kits along with a poster illustrated by Roger Hall. The free kits are available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery, then after 1 p.m. at Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i.

Kaua‘i High School senior Edilyn Grace Marquez hosts a fundraising art showcase at the Kaua‘i Society of Artists gallery starting at 3 p.m., featuring artwork from various artists, with proceeds benefiting the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

More activities are planned for next weekend when the dust of the NFL Super Bowl LV is replaced by the hearts and spirit of Valentine’s Day, and the arrival of the Year of the Metal Ox.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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