Kauai seniors start Valentine’s Day early in Kekaha

Story and photo by MC2 SW/AW Omar Powell

PMRF Public Affairs

Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) Sailors took time out of their day to help Kauai’s senior citizens enjoy an early Valentine’s Day dance at Kekaha’s Neighborhood Center during their 17th annual Valentine’s Dance, Feb. 9.

Kauai’s senior centers have been putting this event for their kupuna (seniors) to help them get out of the center and enjoy Valentine’s Day with friends and the community.

Each year, one of the nine senior centers from Kilauea, Kapaa, Lihue, Koloa, Kalaheo, Hanapepe, Kaumakani, Waimea and Kekaha is chosen to coordinate the event. This year, it was Koloa Ohana Senior Club in charge.

“Putting this event together was a lot of work. But seeing the seniors faces while dancing on the dance floor with the Sailors made it all worth it,” said Cecelia Moehi, president of Koloa Ohana Senior Club.

The County of Kauai Parks and Recreation assisted the committee with organizing and decorating Kekaha’s Neighborhood Center.

“I enjoy participating in this event. I feel a need to give back to the kupuna because they have given so much to me,” said Russell Wellington, west coordinator, County Parks and Recreation. “This is really a special day for the seniors. They have been looking forward to this event to spend time with their friends and Sailors,” said Melaine Okamoto, senior coordinator, County of Kauai Parks and Recreation.”

“We are very grateful that the Sailors are here. We always enjoy spending time with them,” said Veronica Carilla, a kupuna at Kekaha Senior Center.

The Sailors were out in numbers hitting the dance floor.

“I’m new to the island and this event was an amazing opportunity for me to get in touch with the community. It was great to be able to put a smile on the local seniors’ faces,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Nathaniel Banez.

Waimea High School’s Interact Club, a volunteer organization, helped the event by serving their seniors with coffee, tea, water, and their lunch. Waimea High School 12th grader Corey Agent said, “I like to help out the seniors and make them smile.”

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Nathaniel Banez, assigned to Pacific Missile Range Facility, dances with a kupuna during Kauai’s 17th annual Senior Valentine’s Day Dance at Kekaha Neighborhood Center.

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Category: News