Kau Fun Fest has many activities for the Entire Family
Raising money through health and fitness sporting events is the goal of a service group helping people in South Hawai’i Island.
O Ka’u Kakou, a community service organization, is doing a grass root fundraising project in an effort to raise $1.3 million for a new community health center that would service Kau and the surrounding communities.
The new event, being billed as the ‘Southernmost Goodwill Games in the U.S.A.’ or the Kau Family Fun Fest, is scheduled for Saturday, June 11, with proceeds going to the Bay Clinic for a new facility.
“We’re trying to put on multiple health and fitness events to help raise money to build a much needed new health facility in Kau,” event director Raylene Moses said.
Moses and her crew of volunteers are planning on hosting a day filled with a variety of events which include a half marathon, 10K, and 5K run/walk along with archery, basketball, Portuguese horse shoe tournament and much, much more.
“We’re expecting a thousand or more people to enter one of our many activities,” Moses said.
For runners and walkers alike the half marathon and associated races will use the old cane field road in Kau that was once used to haul sugar cane between the tiny communities of Naalehu and Pahala.
“The course provides our race participants with some of the most scenic views on this side of the Big Island,” Moses said. “The route runs from mauka to makai and runners and walkers are treated to some of the most breathtaking coastal landscapes.”
Bay Clinic, along with a network of volunteers will host a health expo which will have a live auction led by my Mayor Billy Kenoi.
“We will have many things for the entire family,” Moses said. “Live entertainment, keiki activities, Jan Ken Po, are just some of the things that will be going on in conjunction with the road races and various athletic competitions.”
For the youngsters activities include a jumping castle, bungee jumping and rock wall climbing, according to Moses.
“We will have something for everyone and we’re hoping that families will come out and participate,’ Moses said.
The event, sponsored by O Ka’u Kakou, will start at the Naalehu Park. Packet pick up for the run/walk begins on June 10 from 3 to 8 pm and again on race day at 6 am with the race starting an hour later.
“If people doing the race would like to see a map of the course they can go online at http://www.bayclinic.org/downloads/KFFFraceroute.pdf,” Moses said.
In addition to the many activities Bay Clinic will also be providing health screenings and the public is encouraged to take part in this free service according to Moses.
O Ka’u Kakou board president, Wayne Kawachi, hopes that this event will bring more public awareness to the community on the needs for health services in the area.
“I know we won’t be able to raise anywhere near the needed $1.3 million,” Kawachi said. “But anything we do raise is more than what we had to begin with.”
Kawachi heads the nine member, all volunteer board, which is organized as a service group to the community.
“We live in a economically disadvantaged community and we need to help our neighbors anyway we can as this project is just one of many that we have and are doing.” Kawachi said.
“Our intentions are good as this new facility is a great need for us and will double the services currently being provided in our community,” Moses said.
Currently the Kau/Pahala community is being serviced in an old two story house which Moses calls inadequate.
Moses, like many people on the O Ka’u Kakou board, is a resident of the area and wants to see medical services be brought up to speed.
“Our board was started six years ago as a non-profit with the original concern of keeping track of development in the Kau area,” Moses said.
Through another fund raising project O Ka’u Kakou was able to raise $80,000 to help purchase a van for the Kau Hospital Charitable Foundation to help transport patients and seniors to various health appointments.
“What better way to raise money than through health and fitness activities,” Moses said. “I’ve never undertaken anything of this size or magnitude before, but we’re excited about all the positive things that can come from this.”
Entry fees for the runs and keiki activities go up after May 11 and again on race day, so Moses ask participants to register early.
Applications can be downloaded by going to http://okaukakou.com or by dropping by one of the Bay Clinics here on the Big Island. On line registration is also available by clicking on the race360.com link on their web site.
“One hundred percent of the money generated from hosting this event will go toward the construction of a new Kau Family Health Center,” Moses said.
For more information on volunteering, sponsorship, vendor opportunities and participation contact Moses at (808) 265-8251 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I don’t have much experience doing an event of this size, but what better way to get the community together than through health and fitness activities,” Moses said.