Our Mahalo Reception last Friday

How do we feel when one of our former adult participants shares her personal story about working towards that first paycheck? When a beautiful hula performance mesmerizes the entire crowd? Or how about when we are blindsided by a surprise donation from unexpected donors? Chicken skin and big grins! That’s what we feel.

We’re still recovering from our excitement from Friday’s Mahalo Reception at Nico’s at Pier 38. It was an event to remember because we had many of our supportive and enthusiastic donors and contributors that have helped us in 2012 in attendance. This was our way of sending a big “mahalo” to all those who have contributed to Easter Seals Hawaii’s success within the last year.

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Emcee Rick Hamada shares his passion for Easter Seals Hawaii.

Our program was headed by our emcee Rick Hamada, our golf tournament director and long-time supporter. In addition to the delicious food, heartfelt speakers and excellent décor, we would like to share a few of our favorite moments from our event.

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Katie O’Brien, Grace Caraang, Christie Moorman and Keilani Robinson dancing hula for our attendees.

Adult participants Katie O’Brien, Christie Moorman, Grace Caraang and Keilani Robinson gave the most beautiful and graceful hula performance. Delicately dressed in colorful aloha print, they danced to “Hawaiian Lullaby” and Katie happily graced us with her hula solo performance of “These Islands.” The entire crowd was enamored by the passion and talent of these wonderful women.

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The crowd claps and signs “Bravo” after the graceful hula performance.

A Touch of Gold performed Motown hits that got the crowd to their feet and all of our adult participants enjoyed themselves on the dance floor. They were a very interactive and entertaining act. Chairman of the Easter Seals Hawaii Board of Directors, Dick Sears, said, “I do not remember the last time I was so truly inspired and entertained to ‘belly laugh’ status simultaneously so well.” In addition, our very own Honolulu Service Center Adult Day Health participants, Daniel Bacon and Peter Quintanilla, may just become the sixth and seventh members of the soulful singing group. They picked up their choreography in seconds! We have such talented participants.

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A Touch of Gold entertains guests and participants Daniel Bacon and Peter Quintanilla.

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Peter Quintanilla gets down with the Motown songs.

During the program, we showed a video of a few of our current and former participants, including Keilani Robinson, a young woman who now works as a hostess at the local favorite Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha in Aina Haina. After the video, Keilani presented Easter Seals Hawaii with part of her very first paycheck! We are so grateful that Keilani wants to give back to our Early Intervention and adult programs.

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Keilani Robinson claps after the feature video on her experience with Easter Seals Hawaii. 

Lastly, as the crowd trickled out and the Nico’s staff cleaned up, the banquet manager walked up to Iwalani and explained that the wait staff were so moved by Keilani’s story that they donated all of their cash tips (a total of $53) to ESH! They said our event was very moving and they wanted to support our organization.

Mahalo to all of our participants, board members, committee members, staff and volunteers for making this a magical event happen.

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Easter Seals Hawaii CEO Chris Blanchard, Board Chair Dick Sears and VP Iwalani Dayton thank those who have supported ESH.

Lilies for Abilities

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Easter Lilies are here in Hawaii! Visit your local Foodland and pick one up for your mom, aunty, tutu or your best friend. Howard’s Nurseries donated these beautiful lilies from their beautiful nursery in the heart of Kula, Maui. For every lily bought at Foodland, Howard’s donates a dollar to Easter Seals Hawaii. Please support this local business and help ESH continue to help children and adults with disabilities or special needs!

Easter Seals Hawaii


Established in 1946, Easter Seals Hawaii is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization offering 24 service programs on the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Lanai, and the Big Island.  Over Easter Seals Hawaii’s 67 year history they have served and made a profound difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities and special needs, and provided resources and support to their families.

Easter Seals Hawaii is the state’s largest provider of Early Intervention services for infants and toddlers, and one of the state’s largest providers of Medicaid Waiver services for adults with developmental disabilities. Easter Seals Hawaii’s Home & Community-Based Services is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), assurance that an organization meets internationally accepted standards.

Easter Seals Hawaii Administrative Office, 710 Green Street, Honolulu, HI (808) 536-1015, www.eastersealshawaii.org.