Untitled-3 1


By: Andy Melamed kla marketing/event director

Every inch of space was utilized at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club grand ballroom during the Kauai Lifeguard Association 4th WAVE Celebration October 22nd. The KLA event which was presented by Hawaii Pacific Health featured seven silent auction stations, ocean safety displays, bingo, souvenir tee shirts, large video screens around the room and a most festive party atmosphere that had five live performances and fun and games on stage from 4:15pm – 11pm. There were over 850 in attendance.

The Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club-Percy Kinimaka Award of Aloha went to junior lifeguard Kelta O’Rourke, who attained success while competing on a Kauai, State, National and World championship stage.

The HMSA Tower of Power Salute featured lifeguards from Kauai’s ten towers. The Tower of the Year honors went to the Ke’e Beach team who received a Koa engraved plaque to display inside their tower as well as personally embroidered Aloha shirts from Tropical Tantrum, certificates to Lava Lava Beach Club, Safeway certificates, Koloa Rum surf wax and more. The group consisted of Jacob Pembrook, Dylan Haight, Andrew Kakalia, Spencer Taylor-Staik, and Josh LIndstedt.

The Silent Auction stations featured the work of Aaron Feinberg’s photo gallery, the Shops at Kukuiula, as well as Tropical Tantrum’s collection of tropical fashions. There were ice cream parties, 6 month cinema passes, resort stays, atv and zipline rides, napali coast adventures kayaks, wave riders, surfboards, and so much more. Over 140 items were up for grabs including the opportunity to be the first foursome to golf on the Hokuala golf course ocean nine designed by Jack Nicklaus.

A grand prize drawings for the evening was a Mokihana Travel 7 night stay in San Francisco and Sonoma County with wine pairings at some of mainlands most recognized wineries and restaurants. There was an Alaska Airlines trip for two to anywhere they fly, awarded during Tina Marie’s hypnosis segment, as well as a vip blockbuster concert flyaway to Oahu awarded thanks to Island Air, Bamp Productions, and Aqua Aston Resorts.

The piece that attracted the most attention was a 1965 program from the first Annual Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surf contest held at Sunset Beach. The program featured autographs and inscriptions from the worlds most accomplished surfers like Miki Dora, Mike Doyle, Joey Cabell, Dewey Weber, Paul Strauch, Kimo Hollinger, Jeff Hakman, Felipe Pomare, Fred Hemmings and more. The item was donated by Dukie Asing whose late uncle Chubby Mitchell attended the contest and was friends with many of the competitors.

Amy Hanaialii Gilliom’s vocal range and breadth of notes filled the ballroom while her mini-me Madeline performed hula and filled many hearts. Makua Rothman kept things hopping with his contemporary Hawaiian music. When he performed on stage some breathtaking videos on the big screens featured him riding life threatening 60 foot waves.

Kalapana was the headliner with Kauai’s own Malani Bilyeu wooing the crowd with his voice. DJ Pratt’s guitar solos and saxophonist Todd Yokomoto filtered thru the crowd as he played between tables and all around the ballroom as the evening came to a close.

Another highlight of the evening belonged to the Mayors Cup live auction hosted by Dickie Chang. There was some spirited bidding for an Alai board handcarved by Leleo Kinimaka. The board was composed of woods gathered in Kokee that included curved Koa, Mango, Milo, and Monkey Pod. It was commissioned and donated to the KLA by Bill Pratt. Kinimaka’s works are featured and sold at Nordstrom and at various Hawaii fundraisers for up to $15,000. The bidding for the board started at $2000 and the price rose to $6500 by Mark Cuthbertson of Timbers Resorts. The French family who own and operate Brennecke’s Beach Broiler and Nukumoi Surf Company hit a final bid of $6750. The crowd cheered while Timbers Resorts and guest bidder Dwight Otani of the Kauai Marriott table thought to be empty handed until KLA’s marketing director Andy Melamed asked Leleo if could craft some additional boards for those disheartened bidders. Leleo surprised all by bringing out two additional boards that he had shipped to Kauai to show family and friends. Timbers Resorts, and Dwight Otani purchased those boards and KLA benefitted from the sale of 3 Alai a at the adjusted price of $6500 each.

Andy Melamed event creator, and producer along with KLA President Dr. Monty Downs and Ocean Safety Bureau Director Kalani Vierra were most astounded however by the presentation on stage by Denise Wardlow and her team at the Westin Princeville Resort. They presented a check for $33,000 donated to KLA from their annual Jazz and Wine Festival. Then Dr. Downs donated $5000 from that presentation to Life’s Bridges for the work they do in dealing with loss of life to families while vacationing on Kauai.

There were more than 240 donations of table purchases, cash, goods and services during the 4th Wave Campaign. These donations helped provide 3 Roving Patrols at unguarded beaches beginning in 2017. The Roving Patrol concept was presented to the mayor by Ocean Safety Bureau director Kalani Vierra and Chief Westerman. The County Council then passed the measure by a 6-1 vote which illustrates the gratitude and appreciation our lifeguards have earned daily.

This KLA event was the 4th of its kind in the past 5 years and it includes media campaigns and support of our Junior Lifeguard Program, The Rescue Tube Foundation, Ocean Safety Video on line, jet ski and atv equipment as well as the printing of Ocean Safety Brochures. KLA is most grateful to those who support all these efforts as well as the dedication Kauai’s Ocean Safety Bureau and lifeguards perform as we come together to HELP SAVE LIVES.