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Waimea ‘wall’ honors residents who gave

MEDIA RELEASE

Ten beloved Waimea kupuna whose lifetime of giving as community leaders helped shaped Waimea today will be honored during a blessing-dedication at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 of a newly created Waimea Community Wall in Waimea Community Center.

Everyone is invited to unveil a project that was spearheaded by Alex Akau of Waimea with the help of many community friends. Akau approached the county Parks & Recreation Division about an idea of honoring individuals who contributed to the building of Waimea.

The county agreed and went one step further, saying Waimea’s wall will be the first of its kind at community centers around the island and will be an example for others to follow.

The plan to honor Waimea community heroes was first introduced a few months back when a group of community friends gathered to surprise Manny Veincent as the first honoree.

Veincent’s community contributions include helping organize and coach the first Pop Warner Football League on Hawaii Island. Then, in 1972 he co-founded the Kawaihae Canoe Club and has been the head coach for the last 40 years and under his leadership, the club has won 11 Moku O Hawaii Regatta Championships. The Kawaihae Canoe Club also has won several Hawaii Canoe Racing Association Division “A” State Championships including 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012.

In 2010, Veincent was inducted into the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame.

At Saturday’s unveiling, nine more community contributors – all of whom have passed on — will be honored and their families and friends have been invited to be present as the community formally thanks them for their significant contributions.

Honorees include:

* Jane “Mother” Hill (Aug. 24, 1889 – Jan. 11, 1972)
* Samuel Mahuka Spencer (July 18, 1875 – Feb. 28, 1960)
* Ernest S. Nakano (Sept. 21, 1903 – Aug. 19, 1995)
* Thelma Kailianu Lindsey (Oct. 31, 1908 – March 31, 1994)
* Bernard G. Kinney (Dec. 3, 1909 – Oct. 18, 1972)
* Hisao Kimura (Feb. 29, 1912 – Jan. 1, 2004)
* Richard Kaleioku Palmer Smart (May 21, 1913 – Nov. 12, 1992)
* Muneo “Moon” Sameshima (Dec. 28, 1918 – Feb. 11, 2001)
* Spencer Kalani Schutte (Sept. 24, 1935 – Nov. 28, 2000)

Following a blessing by Pastor Sonny Shimaoka, Akau and friends will unveil the exhibit that includes a photo and brief biography on each of these individuals.

“This is just the beginning; it is our intention to carry on this tradition of honoring those who have and continue to contribute,” Akau said.

Light refreshments will be served.

For further information, call Akau at 936-0457.

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