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Rolling and ‘Roaring’ for the kids

Dana Murata, the state’s No. 1 female high school bowler, from Kapa‘a High, did not have a team to bowl with, but came to the 11th annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowling Tournament Saturday night anyway.

“She doesn’t have anyone to bowl for because the teams are all full,” said Collyne Murata, her mother. “But maybe coach Todd Ozaki can find someone who can use her.”

Ozaki was bowling for the Grove Farm Company team, one of many who took advantage of the Roaring ‘20s Bowl for Kids’ Sake theme to dress to the gills as they took to the lanes at the sold-out event that helps raise funds for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawai‘i Kaua‘i region.

“I’m not bowling tonight,” said Patrick Ono, Kaua‘i manager for Matson Navigation. “There’s no room, but I have to come and support because Big Brothers Big Sisters do so much for our young people when they need help.”

Instead, Ono was among the supportive people in the crowded Kaua‘i Bowl building who took advantage of the silent auction and buffet meal prepared by Mark’s Place and Contemporary Flavors Catering.

“This is a busy weekend for us,” said Alan Okuhara of Mark’s Place. “We’re doing this event tonight, and then on Sunday we’re doing the special plate-lunch event to benefit the Kiwanis of Kaua‘i and the key clubs. This is all-volunteer, but somebody has to help.”

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawai‘i Kaua‘i region board of directors joined Nicole Cowan, Kaua‘i regional director, and volunteer Erin Gaines of Hawai‘i Children’s Theatre, in helping keep the flow moving with prize giveaways, announcements and other errands.

“This is the 11th year for bowling,” said Randy Francisco, a board member. “Keiko Napio of Blu Umi and Japanese Grandma went to the Women in Theatre, and I would’ve gone there, too, but I’m here. I can’t believe that I’ve been doing this for 11 years.”

Kaulana Finn, the former Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawai‘i Kauai‘i region director, also serves on the board after her career change moved her from the directorship to a board position because “she just had to be affiliated with the program.”

“This is great,” Finn said. “There is so much participation among the groups here. The event is sold out because we had sponsors purchase lanes so we can have some of our bigs and littles bowling, too. Every lane is filled.”

Little brother Titus Santiago-Spencer, just recently being paired with big brother Chris Molina, did the honor of rolling the first ball in challenge of Mayor Derek Kawakami, who got an audience from a trio of young people warming up the lane with their break dancing antics.

Finn said the goal for this year’s bowling fundraiser was $30,000.

“We’re pretty close right now,” Finn said. “People can still donate until the end of March. With their help, we might just make it.”

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawai‘i Kaua‘i region’s mission is to help children reach their potential through professionally-supported, one-to-one relationships with mentors who have a measurable and positive impact on youth contributing to better schools, brighter futures and a stronger community.

Local funding such as the bowling tournament helps Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawai‘i on Kaua‘i provide both school- and community-based programs throughout the island, and continue its mission of helping Kaua‘i’s youth to reach their full potential.

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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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