All the hard work and creativity paid off for our employees, as they proudly brought home the President’s Award for its float entry in the 63rd Aloha Festivals Parade.
In keeping with the festival theme “Hula: Let the Story Be Told”, we took a page out of the children’s book “Kai the Opihi” co-authored by PIDF President Jan E. Hanohano Dill, his wife Judy, and Tūtū and Me Director of Research Gail Omoto. Gail’s very talented husband Garrett Omoto illustrated this colorful edition.
The project was an ambitious one, and took many hands under the creative direction of Patrick Izon, husband of PIDF employee Patti. The main characters of “Kai the Opihi” took shape one by one, and came to life with the application of flowers, leaves, rice kernels and all other manner of foilage and “once were alive” medium, as is laid out by the rules of the parade coordinators. A reef was built, and waves were added to round out the ocean scene consistent with the storyline.
Youngsters from our Kama‘ehu youth program rode onboard the float, telling the story through the “hula noho” or sitting hula dance while a bubble machine added to the underwater effect. Watching over them was their “Tūtū” or grandmother, played by employee Sheree Sakai.
Marching out front and along side our float were employees from PIDF’s different programs such as Tūtū and Me, Nā Pono No Nā ‘Ohana, Ka Pa‘alana, and more.
By the reaction from the crowd our “Kai the Opihi” float was a huge success, and deserved of the President’s Award. Congratulations to all!