Honoka’a Teacher to Receive State 2010 “Distinguished Peacemaker” Award

HHS student Gabriel Ramirez, Miles Okumura, band director Gary Washburn (Photo Catherine Tarleton)

Media Release:

Miles Okumura, a teacher at Honokaa High School and Chairman of the Peace Committee of Honokaa Hongwanji, will receive the 2010 Peace Committee Distinguished Peacemaker Award at a special presentation Tuesday, September 21, at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The event, which is free and open to the public, includes performances by the Royal Hawaiian Band and slack-key guitarist Jeff Peterson, Okinawan dancers and a keynote address by internationally-known author and peace advocate Paul K. Chappell, whose books have been endorsed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Okumura is being recognized for his valuable service with the Peace Committee, which produces the 4th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace, which this year takes place Sunday, September 19 at 11:00 a.m. in Honokaa. The Committee’s related Peace Day events take place throughout the week (see schedule below).

Stepping off at 11:00 a.m. from Honokaa High School, the Parade is a “moving stage” of music, dance, colorful floats and entertainers, marching down Mamane Street. This year’s Parade will spotlight “Elite Circus” and Hiccup Children’s Circus performers, award-winning taiko drum groups, Waiakea Warrior Marching Band, break dancers, hula, ukulele bands, a 22’ canoe, rock & roll music and pay tribute to the TKS ‘Ohana as special honorees for their 70 years of community service. Jerry Leggett and the “Peace Bubble,” who traveled over 100,000 miles across the U.S., will join the fun, as will “eco-superheroes” Green Power Girl and her friends, and a very special appearance by the elegant Royal Court of Hawaii Island Festivals—30 Days of Aloha.

At 12:00 noon, a community Festival takes place in the Honokaa Sports Complex, with food booths, crafters and a special edition Community Resource Fair, plus more music and entertainment onstage until 3:00 p. m., broadcast by live webcast linked with other concerts and celebrations around the world, via PeaceDay.TV to a potential audience of 17 million, according to organizers. Highlights include the award-winning slam poets of Youth Speaks Hawaii, Honokaa High School Jazz Band, Elite Circus and more. One goal of the Festival is to be a low or no-waste event. Admission is free and the public is welcome.

Other Peace Day festivities include:
-The Peace Poster Contest. Winners to be announced at the Festival.
-Mamane Street shops and restaurants decorating contest. A fun way to raise spirits and awareness of peace.

Thursday, September 16.
-Peace Film Series, Honokaa Peoples Theater. 6:30-9:00pm $2 per person ($1 to help cover HPT costs, $1 donation to Carteret Islands Project). See “The Day After Peace,” award-winning feature length documentary by Jeremy Gilley who started the global movement for the U.N. Day of Peace. PLUS special talk-story presentation about Kilinailau (Carteret) Islands. Learn about the Earth’s first “environmental refugees” whose home will be underwater by 2015. Then, the film “Sun Come Up” tells the Islanders’ story, courtesy of filmmakers Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger.

SATURDAY, September 18
– 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. “Open Farm” at Mauna Kea Tea Company–partnering with Peace Day Parade in Honokaa to promote peace through tea—features a garden walk with focus on cultivating inner peace with natural farming and tea. http://www.maunakeatea.com/home
– 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Poetry slam workshop by Youth Speaks Hawaii at NHERC! Be inspired by the two-time International champions and discover your inner poet in this freestyle, energy-charged creative form of expression. Free.
– “Art4Peace” Mar Ortaleza, Abled Hawaii Arts (aha!) presents a free Chalk Art event at the Botelho Building Saturday afternoon. Chalks, encouragement and applause provided free — a great expression for all ages. Free.
– 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Live Poetry Slam at Feel My Bean coffeehouse. Slam poets and seasoned slammers from Youth Speaks Hawaii perform their creations. Admission free; gourmet coffees and pupu menu available – please come and support our poets and our hosts!
– 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. In conjunction with the Poetry Slam, a special appearance and booksigning by Capt. Paul K. Chappell, internationally known speaker, author, peace activist and US veteran, endorsed by Archbishop Tutu.

– 11:00am The Parade! Stepping off from Honoka’a High School, along Mamane Street and up to the County Sports Complex. Various stops and performances at narrator stands along the route.
– 12:00 noon Peace Day Festival. Honokaa Sports Complex. Numerous food booths, crafts and community groups, live entertainment onstage, ringing of the Peace Bell and release of doves. Large silent auction to benefit the Peace Committee.

The 4th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace is presented by the Peace Committee of the Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in cooperation with the United Nations and numerous community organizations. Major financial support has been provided by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, County of Hawaii Department of Research and Development CPEP and the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii For more information email peacedayparade@gmail.com, visit Peace Day Parade on Facebook, or www.peacedayparade.org

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