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Kupuna get drive-thru Valentine’s goodies

Valentine’s Day took on a new twist this year because of the health and safety guidelines from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kupuna in the various Kaua‘i Senior Center programs as well as its hosting county Department of Parks and Recreation took Valentine’s Day on the road to service more than 200 kupuna in various communities around the island.

“They started coming early,” said James Kealalio of the Department of Parks and Recreation. “Some were here from as early as 8 a.m. for the gates that opened at 10:30 a.m.”

The Department of Parks and Recreation, in collaboration with Lisa Johnston and Super Duper Two and the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch delivered bento, ice cream and food and personal-care packages to the community neighborhood centers for kupuna in those communities.

Kupuna received their goodies in a drive-thru, no-contact fashion.

This substituted for the annual Valentine’s Day party, where the kupuna would gather at one site for a day of fellowship, fun and lunch.

“This is too cute,” said Michelle Correa of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“They’re all wearing red and are dressed up for Valentine’s Day partying. The most important thing is they’re participating in the event.”

At the Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center Friday, Mayor Derek Kawakami, accompanied by the Parks and Recreation Director Patrick Porter, wrapped up the week-long distribution of Valentine’s Day goodies by passing out bento and offering personal greetings to each carload that rolled through the drive-thru, where kumu hula aunty Bev Muraoka and her hula dancers that included seniors Pat Moura and Marilyn Matsumoto entertained their fellow kupuna.

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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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