Raising on the Roof
Molokai Special Olympics holds fundraiser in Lahaina.
By Dan Murphy
Five Molokai Special Olympics athletes traveled to Maui earlier this month to raise money for their sports. They were joined by Officer Nathan Hubbard who spent the three days on the Lahaina’s Safeway balcony to bring attention to the cause.
Rita Kalahiki, Molokai’s area assistant, has been organizing the trip for the past four years. She said that this year’s collection of roughly $6,200 was the lowest they have had.
“We decided it definitely was the economy. Last year we had eight or nine $100 donations and this year we were lucky to get $20,” said Mary Igarta, one of three chaperones, along with Kalahiki and Donna Kapu, who went to Lahaina with the athletes. Igarta said that despite falling short of their $10,000 goal, the group still felt good – and exhausted – after their three full days of hard work.
Other volunteers also ran fundraisers on Molokai during the same weekend. A table was set up outside Friendly Market for donations, and Kamoi Snack-N-Go collected coins at their free ice-cream give-away last week.The ice cream sale raised $216.02, and Molokai Drugs matched the funds for a total of $432.04.
The money raised during this month’s fundraiser will be used to help send 20-some athletes to Oahu for the Special Olympics’ Holiday Classic this winter. Due to budget cuts, the event has been shortened from three days to two. If you missed the chance to donate this month, the group will still be accepting gifts at www.firstgiving.com/copontopmolokai through December.
Money Well Spent
Molokai athletes shined at the most recent Special Olympics event, the Aukake Classic held in Honolulu on Aug. 22. Molokai’s soccer team took home the gold medal after defeating the Anuenue team in the championship match.
“This is the third year in a row they have won it,” Igarta said. “I just love being able to watch them play.”
The team, which added two new women this year, won a total of four games in the tournament. Igarta, who has been with the program for four years, said a good part of their success was due to the Wednesday night practice sessions they hold along with other soccer players on the island.
“I’d like to really thank the people that come out on Wednesday nights and let us practice with them and play in real games,” she said. “That has definitely really improved our players.”
Molokai also brought home a handful on medals in bocce, the only other event at the Aukake games.