Waikiki Kupuna to Explore Molokai

Waikiki Community Center News Release

Jeff Apaka, the Community Relations Director of the Waikiki Community Center (WCC) has been escorting kupuna on neighbor island excursions for 23 years. On April 27-29, Apaka will be escorting his seventh WCC kupuna excursion to Molokai.

“A trip to Molokai is always an adventure for both me and our kupuna group,” said Apaka. “They are on an exciting adventure — and I’m revisiting my childhood!”

As a keiki growing up in Waikiki, Apaka said to him, Molokai was the “babysitting island.” When his parents were leaving on another tour or extended engagement, he recalls being driven to Honolulu airport to meet his grandma Keahi Aholo Afat and grandfather Alfred.

“We boarded a plane and off we went for a wonderful visit to their ‘play house in Ho`olehua,” he remembered. “I can still remember that old house and going to the movie theater in Kaunakakai that had no roof, open air!”

Apaka’s mother was Edna Mae Blake-Apaka big band singer and his father was the famous “Golden Voice of Hawaii” Alfred Apaka. He recalls that his grandfather had a general store on Farrington years ago close to the post office, and his dad drove a pineapple truck for his dad’s store.

Founded in 1978, the Waikiki Community Center is a nonprofit agency located in the heart of Waikiki in the former St. Augustine Elementary School. The Center provides quality services for over 20,000 Waikiki residents and visitors annually through multigenerational programs and social services for families, seniors and children who live, work or visit Waikiki. The Center provides over 60 classes for ohana, keiki and kupuna each week, such as dance, ukulele, and exercise.

Led by an all-volunteer Board of Directors, the Center also operates an early childhood education program on weekdays. The preschool provides keiki with quality education and care in a safe and nurturing environment by promoting individual growth and development and meeting the needs of today’s working parents — especially those who live or work in Waikiki’s 24/7 visitor industry. We promote individual growth and development and provide a variety of developmentally appropriate skills that nurture social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth.

Visit waikikicommunitycenter.org for more information or call (808) 923-1802.

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