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
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
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,
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
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.
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
As soon as the first person dropped the hoop,
the clock would stop and the next person in
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
as quickly as possible. Some people only
needed to take two breaths. I had a much more difficult
I took about
ten breaths. (So, breathing- or at least
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.
not only one song, but two. As everyone
got up to sing their song, each expressed his
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.
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
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
had no idea
all, it was before my mother’s time.
Besides the games, there were also
silent auctions, a bake sale, and
got some real
The games were fun and there was
a lot to be happy about. We had
contributed to a great
we enjoyed ourselves
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@