Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise Makes Care Packages for Folks Deployed to Afghanistan

Once again the Kona community has showed their love and support of our men and women deployed in Afghanistan. This time we were requested by the commanding officers over on Oahu to adopt the 25th Aviation Brigade. This younger (in age) Brigade has many unmarried men and women serving who would not be expecting a holiday care package.

Photo credit Bev Fraser, Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise

The Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise couldn’t let that happen! Out in front of Wal-Mart for 2 weekends we gathered items that the Kona community graciously was willing to shop for. Then in addition to donating money which was used for shipping many hand wrote thank you notes.

On Nov 10th we packed 100 individual boxes, 40 women and 60 men for the Soldiers plus 10 more for the mess area to share. Those boxes contained: a shirt, underwear, socks, DVD, CD, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, eye drops, lotion, sunscreen, body powder, drink mix, candy, cookies, pens, gum, feminine hygiene products (only for the girls), Ramin, games, razors.

This project never could have happened without the wonderful people of Kona who took the time to shop and share Aloha with a Soldier. We are deeply grateful this Veteran’s Day and know that the Soldiers will be touched when those boxes arrive in Afghanistan.

Inaugural Wounded Warrior Pacific Trials Start Tomorrow

Adm. Cecil D. Haney, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, will host the first-ever Wounded Warrior Pacific Trials at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and other locations on the island of Oahu, Nov. 12 to 16.

Nearly 50 seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen from across the country will compete for a place on the 2013 Warrior Games Navy-Coast Guard team.

The trials will kick off on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Throughout the week, wounded warriors will compete head-to-head in archery, cycling, track and field, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming and wheelchair basketball.

Participants in the trials include active-duty and retired service members with upper-body, lower-body and spinal cord injuries; serious illnesses; traumatic brain injuries; visual impairment; and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for our wounded warriors, who are eager to demonstrate their abilities – rather than disabilities – in a new competitive arena,” said Haney. “November marks Warrior Care Month, and this year’s theme is ‘Success through Transition.’ I can think of no better time to celebrate the accomplishments of these service members, who have not let illness or injury slow them down.”

Ultimately, 35 athletes will be selected for the Navy-Coast Guard team that will compete at the 2013 Warrior Games, an annual competition among wounded warriors from all branches of military service. The final Navy-Coast Guard team roster will be announced aboard the USS Missouri Nov. 16 at 3:30 p.m. The team is sponsored by Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor, the Navy’s organization for coordinating the non-medical care of seriously wounded, ill, and injured Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, and their families.

A schedule of Wounded Warrior Pacific Trials practice sessions and events is available at http://www.cpf.navy.mil/pacific-trials/2012/. Athlete biographies, news and imagery of the competitions will be posted to the website as they become available.

Christmas at the Fairmont

It’s a festive culinary arts extravaganza Saturday, Dec. 8 when 20 top local chefs and confectioners present enticing entrees and decadent desserts at Christmas at the Fairmont-Dining with the Chefs. The event will kick off with the lighting of The Fairmont Orchid’s spectacular coconut Christmas tree.

The holiday gala is 5:30-8 p.m. at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii and benefits local culinary scholarships and the Equip the Kitchens campaign for the future Hawaii Community College-Palamanui campus. In its 24th year, Dining with the Chefs is presented by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Kona Kohala Chefs Assn.

“Our local chefs pull out all the stops at this event and prepare spectacular culinary offerings,” says Devin Lowder, Kona Kohala Chefs president. “Each one tries to outdo the other in taste and presentation. It’s a holiday for the tastebuds.”

Participants include a Who’s Who of West Hawaii’s top chefs and confectioners: Hubert Des Marais of The Fairmont Orchid, Peter Pahk of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Clayton Arakawa of The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, James Babian of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, David Abrahams of Red Water Café, Stennis Hirayama of Tommy Bahama’s, Ken Schloss of Huggo’s, Nancy Edney of Tropical Dreams Ice Cream and Cathy Smoot Barrett of Kailua Candy Company—to name a few.

Chefs use primarily locally sourced ingredients to prepare tantalizing cuisine—all accompanied by handcrafted ales, wines and 100 percent Kona coffee. On display will be specially crafted gingerbread houses; the eye-popping creations are the work of local culinary students under the direction of Pastry Instructor Fernand Guiot. This year’s gingerbread display will have a vintage Hawaiian look.

After voting for their favorite gingerbread house, attendees can enjoy jazz under the stars by the Kohala Quartet and participate in an exciting live auction.  Bid on exclusive, private dinner parties and receptions presented by local chefs and premiere, luxury hotel accommodations.

Also available by silent auction are local products, activities and dining opportunities—perfect for holiday gift-giving.

Ticket prices are $85 and can conveniently be purchased online at www.konakohalachefs.org. They are also for sale at Kona Wine Market, Clark Realty/Kona and Kailua Candy Company. Phone 329-2522 for info and to charge tickets by phone.

Special event room rates of $249 for Partial Ocean View and $239 for Garden View are offered, including breakfast for two and self-parking at The Fairmont. Contact reservations for details at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Christmas at The Fairmont.”

For updates, visit Christmas at The Fairmont-Dining with the Chefs on facebook.

American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association: ACF is the largest, professional, non-profit organization for chefs and cooks in the nation. Founded in 1980, the Kona Kohala chapter is comprised of food service professionals, vendors, growers and culinary enthusiasts; www.konakohalachefs.org.