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Ko Olina Thanksgiving Outreach (dec10) Print E-mail
Written by Ko Olina Staff   
Thursday, December 02 2010

KoOlina1_1.jpgA Leeward Coast Tradition Since 1999

Grassroots Effort Started by Ko Olina Resort Employees Serves 4,000 Meals the Saturday Before Thanksgiving for 12 Years Running From Ewa Beach to Pearl City to Makaha

Every Saturday before Thanksgiving on the west side of Oahu is a giant feast orchestrated between the kitchens of Ko Olina Resort and the Leeward Community College culinary department. A fleet of UPS trucks, bolstered by Ko Olina employees and volunteers, make the rounds to churches and other locations along the coast delivering giant trays of turkey, ham, stuffing, corn, rice, mashed potatoes, gravy and more. The meals are served as a sit-down affair with local entertainment or casual take-out style. Either way, the mood is festive and the community is never hungry during this time, which is always an occasion for gratitude. This past month, the outreach served up edible aloha for the 12th year on Saturday, November 20, 2010.

"We coordinated with 18 different churches at 14 different locations to reach all the people in the community, including those on the beach, to celebrate. This is Hawaii, so the feeling is part Thanksgiving, part luau," said Michael Nelson, the vice president of Ko Olina Resort. "While our priority is to serve the homeless, needy and single parent families, this year we were also proud to serve meals to US veterans at Kalaeloa who bravely volunteered their lives to serve our country."

The outreach, run by Ko Olina Charities (a non-profit organization created to serve West Oahu residents) started as a small gesture by Ko Olina‘s own Pele To‘omata and Natasha Clarin to help the family of a co-worker. It then blossomed into a community wide feast for the disadvantaged. At the time, the new Ko Olina ownership wanted to show its kokua (care) and kuleana (responsibility) and KoOlina2_1.jpghelped galvanize the sponsorship of the 4,000+ meals that are now served each year. It is the largest holiday outreach on Oahu, and one of the many ways that Ko Olina gives back to the Leeward Coast.

This year's feast featured the talents of chef Scott Higa of the J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa and chef Ian Riseley from The Pearl restaurant at Leeward Community College. Meals were served between 11:00 am and noon with entertainment varying from live bands to hula, praise and worship teams, even face painting, cotton candy and games for the kids.

Key sponsors of the Thanksgiving Outreach include Ko Olina Resort, J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa, Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club, Ko Olina Beach Villas, Ko Olina Golf Course, Ko Olina Charities, Watabe Wedding, Leeward Community College Culinary Department, Rotary Club of Kapolei, UPS and more.

For more information visit: www.koolina.com/charities.




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