As the end of the school year approaches, the Konawaena softball team has playoffs, the BIIF softball title, prom, May Day and graduation to get ready for, yet its members still find the time to participate in community events and serve the community.
On March 14, they became the No. 1 team at the Relay for Life of the University of Hawaii of Hilo by raising a total of $3,115 for the event.
April 6, team members participated in an exhibition game with the local Special Olympics members. They raised money and participated in the March of Dimes walk in April before heading to Ka‘u for their final season game.
Finally, the girls, their coaches and some parents recently headed into Kailua town with a full pot of chili, a large pan of rice and some bottled water in an effort to feed the hungry and catapult their “Malama Na Kanaka” Project.
This year’s varsity team features five seniors, each of whom share a passion for giving back to the community. Because of this, they created what they named the Malama Na Kanaka Project.
The seniors created the program to serve as a vehicle for softball team members to use for future community service projects.
“It’s our gift to the softball program and our school, in hopes that will be a lasting legacy for them to carry on,” said Anu Binney.
“We wanted to start with feeding the hungry as a base for our project and something that they can commit to doing every year as a team. We’re gonna work on building it up to also doing things to help the elderly and even the women’s and children’s shelters, too.” Pualani Ubando added.
“It started at our first game, we always have a potluck after the game and feed the visiting team, there was a homeless couple we gave them what little we had left but we left feeling like it wasn’t enough, we made sure we would come back to help them and keep coming back,” Syleesia Jose stated.
This softball program is not just about playing softball.
“It gets crazy sometimes. We had school in the morning, jumped in the vans, headed to Hilo, played an awesome game against Hilo, rushed up to the college for an all-nighter doing Relay for Life then headed back to Kona first thing in the morning where we still have homework and chores to do,” Lavina Vete said.
“But it was all worth it, high school and softball is going to come to end for us soon but the memories and more importantly the ability to give back through these events with the support of Uncle Preston, Auntie Shellie, Auntie Roselle and our families is our victory off the diamond,” BriAna Sakata added.
To hear more about the Malama Na Kanaka Project or find out how you can get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.