LIHU’E – Concerns about the spread of COVID-19, compounded by Governor David Ige’s announcement of new health and safety guidelines on August 10, have resulted in the cancellations and “postponements” of events scheduled for this weekend.
Hawai’i Foodbank Kaua’i Branch’s 32nd Food Drive Day, scheduled for Saturday, and Relay For Life 2021 Luminaria Experience, scheduled for Sunday, are the latest events to announce postponements or cancellations due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
“With the rise in positive COVID cases in the past few days, we have unfortunately decided to postpone the Sunday event that is due to take place at the Coconut Marketplace,” said Patti Ornellas, development manager for the American Cancer Society West Region. “We are just as amazed as everyone who was looking forward to the Luminaria Experience. However, the postponement was the only decision we could make. “
Ornellas said the Relay For Life 2021 hopes to hold this Luminaria experience later this fall when the numbers drop.
“This has nothing to do with the Hawai’i Foodbank Kaua’i,” said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack of the Kukui Grove Center. “The orders came from Honolulu. The food need is still there and people are welcome to help the Hawai’i Foodbank by visiting their website at https://hawaiifoodbank.org/kauai-food-drive-day/ and talking about donations -Button make a contribution. “
The employees of the Hawai’i Foodbank Kaua’i expressed their disappointment with the cancellation.
“The staff really loved it,” said McFerrin-Warrack. “This was the last day for their food trip and they were determined to make this a really fun day.”
Wes Perreira, the director of Hawai’i Foodbank Kaua’i, said that instead of hosting their physical food collection points on Saturday, the Hawai’i Foodbank Kaua’i is encouraging the community to show their support by donating online, virtually donates and is committed to it.
“With the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the island, we believe this is the most responsible thing for our organization,” said Perreira.
“Containing the spread of the virus is essential to continue our daily mission to feed those in need. Our primary goal is to keep our ohana – our staff, volunteers, partners, families, Keiki, Kupuna, and everyone we serve – safe and healthy. We will continue to follow this as a guideline in the future. “
The other event scheduled for Saturday – the fundraising book sale with Kumu’s Cupboard in partnership with Sheila Bradley and Usborne Books and More – will continue to be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at KGC.
“The pandemic has taught our organizations many things, including how quickly circumstances can change and how fragile food security can be,” said Chyenne Beach of Hawai’i Foodbank Kaua’i.
“But it also showed us how resilient the people of Kaua’i are. Again and again we see people who are committed and set a good example. For all of these reasons, it’s important for our community to keep Food Drive Day going, ”Beach said.
Other events less affected by the shutdowns include the practices of the Special Olympic Kaua’i Athletes and Unified Partners, who qualified and qualified for the Florida national competition next year.
“We only got clearance to be back on the field a few weeks ago,” said Ona Sa McDermott, Special Olympics Kaua’i coach. “But we just learned that all activities have been suspended until further notice.”
The Special Olympic Kaua’i Unified Team consists of Melissa Iida, Ana Munoz, Lisa Laureta and Carleen Yamamoto. Special Olympic Kaua’i’s unique athlete is Rondelle Lee.
“We’re going to raise funds to help them get to Florida,” Sa McDermott said. “However, anyone can donate to help them – they must raise about $ 1,500 each – by visiting the Special Olympics Hawaii website or contacting our Area Manager, Jocelyn Barriga.”
Robin Jumper of the Kaua’i Marathon hopes the new restrictions won’t affect the Keiki run on the lawn in front of the Grand Hyatt Kaua’i Resort & Spa in Po’ipu, scheduled for September 5th.
“I just sent the last package for the Stride for Kaua’i 100-Mile Challenge, which attracted participants from all over the world,” said Jumper. “With the upcoming Keiki Run, I am already in communication with the COVID team in order to secure the necessary approvals for this ‘professionally planned’ event. We’ll keep you up to date.”
Dennis Fujimoto, employed writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or [email protected].