Combine one sunny beach, one shaved ice machine, one outdoor gas burner with an overzealous cook, over 240,000 lbs of metal, and bikers with big muscles and even bigger hearts and you have all the ingredients for a rousing great time for a great cause.
On Sunday, December 5, 2010, bikers from around the State came together for the annual toy drive which benefits Toys for Tots. However, this year was a little different; this year, several of the motorcycle clubs decided to also designate Ka Pa‘alana as the recipient for their donation of toys. Over 300 bikers and support crew from Na ‘aeko Kū Lōkahi Motorcycle Club, Koa Puna Motorcycle Club, Island Boyz Motorcycle Club, Bustahz Boyz as well as other motorcycle clubs and independent bikers converged at Sandy Beach to drop off their toy donations to Ka Pa‘alana.
Auhea Ortiz (Program Specialist for Ka Pa‘alana) and her husband, Mike, who is the president of Na ‘aeko Kū Lōkahi Motorcycle Club, have been involved with the annual ride for some time. With many island families struggling to make ends meet and unable to afford toys for their keiki, the club members of Na ‘aeko Kū Lōkahi decided to designate Ka Pa‘alana families to be the recipient of their toy donations.
When the other motorcycle clubs asked Mike about which organization his club was donating to this year, Mike and Auhea shared information about Ka Pa‘alana. The program’s flyers were distributed to different motorcycle clubs so that they could use the information in their meetings. Many of the bikers are Native Hawaiian and were excited to find out about PIDF and Ka Pa‘alana’s mission to help homeless Native Hawaiian families. They instinctively decided to contribute to Ka Pa‘alana in addition to their donation to Toys for Tots.
The procession of bikers met at Ala Moana Beach Park, headed through Waikīkī, and along Kalaniana‘ole Hwy, before stopping at Sandy Beach, where Ka Pa‘alana staff were waiting with water, shaved ice, hot lunches, and lots of smiles. Just before noon, the rumbling of bikers could be heard from down the beach as biker after biker rode through the parking lot and onto the fields surrounding the Ka Pa‘alana tent. The bikers dropped off the toys and spent some time mingling with other club members before heading off to their next destination. During this time, Ka Pa‘alana staff members walked around and shared about the program. Some of the bikers were already familiar with Ka Pa‘alana and many expressed interest in providing monetary as well as new and used item donations to Ka Pa‘alana.
In addition to the toys received for Ka Pa‘alana’s homeless families, Mike Kahue (Kama‘ehu Youth Program Coordinator) and Shanna Venzon (Kama‘ehu Youth Specialist and daughter of Koa Puna Motorcycle Club members) became the beneficiary of even more blessings as members of Koa Puna Motorcycle Club and Na ‘aeko Kū Lōkahi Motorcycle Club made cash donations for the Kama‘ehu Youth Program.
Partners in Development Foundation, Ka Pa‘alana, its staff and families would like to extend a big mahalo to all the bikers involved in making this Christmas a special one for our needy families.