PO‘IPU — Food, toys, and more food mark the holiday season for employees of the Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort in Po‘ipu.
Kelvin Moniz, Executive Director for the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, said the holidays are just crazy.
“We’re busy every day,” Moniz said. “We had a run today in Po‘ipu where we’re getting an estimated 1,100 pounds of food collected by the employees of the Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort. That collection adds to the nearly 2,000 pounds of food we just picked up from the Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club. And, it’s not over, yet.”
Denise Ventura, the executive assistant for Chip Bahouth, the general manager of the Sheraton Kaua‘i, agreed.
“We’re like Kelvin,” she said. “Chip would’ve wanted to be here for this, but he got called to a Kaua‘i Police Commission meeting. We’re like the food bank. We have back-to-back distributions, today starting with the food going to the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank. Then, we have about 200 toys that the employees, and guests to the resort, put together for Toys for Tots. And, it’s not over, yet.”
While Sheraton Kaua‘i employees helped Moniz and Rizalde Tolentino load the truck with the food collection, Lt. Jose Gonzalez and Lauren Starner of The Salvation Army, Hanapepe Corps, rolled up with their empty vehicles.
“This is so good,” Lt. Gonzales said while getting the loose toys packed in cartons for transport to Hanapepe. “We had concerns there weren’t that many gifts for the older-aged teens. This helps us, tremendously.”
The Sheraton Kaua‘i employees, like the Menehune, quickly and silently disappeared to tend to chores at the bustling Poi‘pu resort following the loading of the food and toy distributions.
Earlier, Bahouth had announced the Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort was planning to host Kaua‘i kupuna to lunch to give the kupuna an opportunity to get out following the long COVID pandemic that isolated kupuna from the world, as a preventative measure of keeping them safe from the virus.
Originally planned to host a hundred kupuna from recommendations made by local churches and kupuna groups, the number kept growing to where the guests overflowed the RumFire restaurant where the lunch was originally planned to be held.
“Kupuna kept calling,” Ventura said. “The number grew to 150, and now, it’s up to 200. We had to move them to the Grand Ballroom. But, we’ll see you, Monday?”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or email@example.com.
Source: The Garden Island