Thursday | July 27, 2017
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Baccalaureate, pumpkins and parade await

The Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple will host its 59th annual baccalaureate service, at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 4. In keeping with this year’s theme, “Repay It Backward,” graduates will share special messages of appreciation for their teachers who helped them along the way. At the same time, Honokaa High School’s original graduating class, the class of 1938, will be honored on its 75th anniversary.

Teachers and graduates and families from all schools, including home schools, are encouraged to attend. The entire community is invited to attend services at the Fellowship Hall, with potluck dinner to follow.

This year’s graduates are encouraged to show their gratitude for teachers who helped them along the way by submitting a short statement, thanking a specific teacher. The teacher need not be present, and the student will have the option of personally reading the statement or having it presented by the emcee.

Attending alumni will be recognized as special guests and honorees. A keynote address will be given by the Rev. David Fujimoto of the Puna Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, and the officiant will be the resident minister, the Rev. Kosho Yagi.

The Baccalaureate Service is free to students, families and friends, the general public, all faiths, creeds and beliefs. Music will be provided by the New Dharma Band, and dinner will be served after the ceremony. Aloha wear or finer; potluck or other donations suggested.

Please RSVP in advance to 775-0388. Inquiries regarding instructions for students, teacher nominations and statements can be sent to


Basic First Aid & Life Support Classes are being offered on Saturday, May 11, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Waimea Elementary School in classroom D-5. From 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. will be the Adult & Pediatric CPR session.

Starting at 1 p.m. will be the Standard First Aid instruction. This will include victim assessment, basic life support, bleeding and shock; wounds; dressings and bandages, burns, head and spinal injuries, chest, abdominal, and pelvic injuries, bone, joint, and muscle injuries, splinting the extremities, sudden illnesses, poisoning, bites and stings, cold and heat related emergencies, rescuing and moving victims.

The National Safety Council CPR certification is valid for two years and First Aid certification is valid for three years. The instructor is Mary Wood. The training is sponsored by North Hawaii Community Learning Center. A minimum of six participants is required to hold the course. The cost is $35 per certification, or $90 for all three. The textbook is an additional $15. To reserve a space, call Mary Wood at 987-6523.


Punana Leo O Waimea and Alo Kehau O Ka ‘Aina Mauna will present ‘Ho‘ola’ at the Kahilu Town Hall Saturday on Saturday, May 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Ho‘ola will feature entertainment by Hawane Rios and Keali‘i Bertelmann, the Bertelmann Ohana, HamaJang, Waipuilani Flores and Halau Na Kipu‘upu‘u, plus special guest performers, keiki games, Hawaiian crafts, cultural demonstrations, silent auction, food vendors and more.

The event is free. For more information, call 885-7166. Funds raised will help build a classroom for the keiki in Punana Leo’s growing elementary school. To offer help in other ways, call 960-9026.


Attention pumpkin growers: It’s time to start planting for the Waimea Town Market’s annual Giant Pumpkin Contest! News from Giant Pumpkin Coordinator Paul Johnton is, “We have lots of seeds and starts will be available by mid-April. There will be lots of advice available to enhance your chances to win.” Call Paul (938-4540) or email him at

For school gardens, the Hawaii Island School Garden Network (HISGN) will be providing giant pumpkin starts. Contact Donna Mitts (887-6411) for details.

Project sponsors include Crop Protection Services (CPS), BEI Hawaii, the Junior Master Gardener program of the 4-H Club and The Kohala Center/HISGN, as well as Waimea Town Market.


Waimea volunteers are gearing up for December’s Christmas Parade & Giving Tree In-Gathering. Want to get involved? Just show up on Wednesday, May 8, at 8:30 a.m. at the upstairs conference room at the Waimea Center (home of KTA and McDonald’s).

The 53rd annual Waimea Christmas Twilight Parade will be — as always — on the first Saturday in December (Dec. 7), so this year’s theme is “LUCKY 7!” This will be incorporated into the Giving Tree — asking for donations in groups of seven, for example: seven cans of spam, seven rolls of toilet paper, seven bars of soap or seven bags of rice!

The Giving Tree is organized entirely by community volunteers, to be sure everyone is remembered. All donations — including gift cards, cash and checks — stay right here in Waimea/North Hawaii.

As always, the parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. from historic Church Row Park over to Waimea Park. There will be a road closure from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.; expect traffic delays. Also, there will be festivities, craft fairs, entertainment and foods at venues all over town throughout the day and a special visit by Santa, who rides in the parade and then visits with keiki at Parker Ranch Center’s Fireside Food Court afterwards.

All community groups, churches, schools and businesses invited to participate. For more information, please call Parade Co-Chairs Lani Olsen-Chong (936-0670) or Kalae Kawamura (936-4376).

For Giving Tree info and support, please call Rhonda Bell (880-1984) or Nancy Carr Smith (896-2239); they can assist with adopting a family, volunteering at the Giving Tree store, becoming part of the Christmas Parade Bucket Brigade, hosting a toy or food drive or helping feed families, kupuna and shut-ins on Christmas Day.

All interested are invited to the meetings at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, July 10, Sept. 11, Oct. 9 and Nov. 13. For more information, go to


Register now for expanded Waimea Summer School for all students in grades 5-8. It’s been confirmed: Waimea Middle School will present a 14-day summer program June 10-28 (no school June 11 – Kamehameha Day).

The program is from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for all of Waimea’s incoming fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students from any school, including homeschoolers. This program will combine a strong academic focus with exciting place-based experiential learning, including a weekly excursion.

The summer school program also will include breakfast, lunch and busing. This will help students prepare for the transition to middle school. The fee is $50, with plenty of scholarships available. For more information call 887-6090, ext. 222, or go to

Carol Yurth’s column is published every Sunday and spotlights activities on the Hilo-Hamakua coast. She welcomes items for her column. Reach her by mail (46-1250 Kalehua Road, Honokaa HI 96727) at least 10 days before the requested publication date, call her at 775-7101, or e-mail


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