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TIM students help at Special Olympics

by Radasha Ho'ohuli, Lifestyles editor

We are busy. We go to school. Some of us work (sometimes two jobs). Others have families. Many times we are so busy that if breathing didn’t already come naturally, we would probably have to schedule that into our day as well.

We enjoy being with family and most times with friends. We don’t like to be with people that we hardly know, especially those who are needy. So, why would it interest any of us to volunteer for a community event? Furthermore, why the Special Olympics?

Special Olympics Hawai‘i provides year-round opportunities in sports training and competition for children and adults with mental retardation. There are many ways that we can all get involved.
This year, my employer, Paradise Cove Luau, teamed up with different tourist venues around the island to raise money for Special Olympics. Among the many volunteers were the Ala Moana Hotel, Outrigger Hotel, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Planet Hollywood, and HPU’s very own Travel Industry Management Student Organization- TIMSO.

TIMSO represented HPU in full force with more than 30 volunteers--27 students, three faculty, and a guest--who helped to run the events, which included team competitions, a raffle, and a silent auction.

Sponsored by the Hawai‘i Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association, the event is held each year at different venues around O‘ahu. This year’s event raised more than $5,000 for Special Olympics.

The theme for this year’s event was the 1950s. A number of women arrived in flared skirts, collared shirts, and bowling shoes, with bows in their hair and ribbons around their necks, while guys showed off their muscles with tight, white t-shirts, a pack of cigarettes rolled in their arm sleeve, tight jeans, hair slicked into duck tails, and even leather jackets! It was an insight into my grandparent’s world.

The event started with a costume contest. Those who had dressed for the occasion got up on stage and showed the audience what they had to offer.

Next was the limbo! Boy, was that fun. We all walked up to the stick and prayed that we would somehow make it under without falling flat. And as the stick went lower and lower, the anxiety grew stronger and stronger as it became more and more difficult for many of us to make it through. You could hear the “ahs” and “oohs” as one by one we were all eliminated.

The limbo was followed by the hula hoops. In our teams of eight, we each had to keep the hula hoop going as long as we could. As soon as the first person dropped the hoop, the clock would stop and the next person in the group would have to pick up from that time and continue. I was happy to have kept my hoop going for five minutes and 57 seconds. The rest of my team, however, was not as successful. In fact, I believe the next person on my team kept the hoop going only 17 seconds.

Then we had the drag race. Each of us on the team had to blow a straw onto a miniature car, pushing it across the finish line as quickly as possible. Some people only needed to take two breaths. I had a much more difficult time with this event. I took about ten breaths. (So, breathing- or at least blowing hot air- is not one of my best qualities. Now I know!)

Next up was team songs. Now, our team, being half men and the other half women, wanted to be creative. So, we came up with not only one song, but two. As everyone got up to sing their song, each expressed his or her joy for being at the special event, and the pride that they had for their group. Well, we got up there and dedicated our whole song to the event. We sang about the joyful spirit of Special Olympic participants, we encouraged them to keep doing their best, but we forgot one tiny dedication. A dedication to our employer, Paradise Cove Luau. I am not so sure how well our sales representative took that.

The next event was the twist. One representative from each team had to twist for as long as the song “Twist” played. Judges lined the front row as they decided who could twist the best. And, once again, our team being the clowns of the crowd, sent a representative who didn’t just twist, but tootsie-rolled, and butterflied, and “put his back into it.” Wrong song, wrong time, wrong era. But, great laughs!

Finally, each team was given a quiz on the 1950s. I took a look at those questions and had no idea what they were about. After all, it was before my mother’s time.

Besides the games, there were also silent auctions, a bake sale, and raffle tickets. Some people got some real deals.

The games were fun and there was a lot to be happy about. We had contributed to a great cause and we enjoyed ourselves along the way. And that’s what it’s all about: doing something for others, expecting nothing back, but receiving more joy and happiness than you had ever imagined.

For more information about becoming a volunteer visit: volunteers@ specialolympicshawaii.org

 

 

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