Event Details


Time: November 29, 2008 from 9am to 3pm
Location: KOHALA CULTURAL CENTER aka: Old Mormon Gym
City/Town: Hawi Town
Phone: (808) 430-0333
Organized By: Lani Eugenio aka: Lani Coakley
Latest Activity: Dec 13, 2008

Event Description

The Spirit of Kohala is the aloha spirit at its finest, a brand of aloha that Kohala musicians and dancers have grown up with and have shared in Hawaii and throughout the world. It is that spirit that produced the mind of world renowned genetic engineer, Dennis Gonsalves, developed the voice of our National Treasure, Kindy Sproat, nurtured the heart of our songwriter, John Keawe, and strengthened the bodies of numerous residents who have this special love for Kohala. It is the same spirit that carried Daniel Coakley to the Beijing Olympics. The “Spirit of Kohala” is the spirit of Kamehameha, a tough warrior who fought to unite the islands, then worked in taro patches alongside the commoners to bring peace and prosperity to the land and people he loved.

A “Spirit of Kohala” booth will be set up at the Christmas Craft Fair at the Kohala Cultural Center ( across Nakahara Store in Hawi) on Saturday, November 29th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. It is an opportunity for the community to share the “Spirit” by helping Shanda Carvalho with expenses related to her upcoming surgeries.

Shanda has that Kohala Spirit; the tough warrior attitude of Kamehameha, tempered with grace and aloha. Her recent pictures with a mask covering her mouth somehow does not elicit pity. Rather, one is drawn to her dancing eyes, looking straight into the camera, projecting confidence and hope.

Her congeniality and fighting spirit is impressive. She doesn’t lament about her condition. Instead, she can’t wait to get the surgery over with so she can return to school! Her attitude is a great inspiration. How many of us have spent our youth in frivolity, then whine about our old-age wrinkles? Shanda’s story is Life’s wake-up call for adults and the youth, rich or poor, popular or not. Life… it happens.

Shanda was a star athlete, the prom queen and Salutatorian at Kohala High School. This past summer, this beautiful 20-year old’s life was shattered by a twist of fate. After a visit to the dentist to extract her wisdom teeth, Shanda contracted Necrotizing Fascitis, the deadly flesh-eating bacteria. She went into septic shock and was rushed to Waimea’s North Hawaii Hospital, where the doctors predicted a 50 % chance of survival.

She had to be heavily sedated while emergency surgeries were performed to remove the bacteria. Shanda’s body, ravaged by the bacteria and left frail after the septic shock and surgeries, went into kidney failure and she was put on dialysis. Her prognosis dropped to 30% survival, and for a while they couldn’t find any vital signs. Miraculously, she regained consciousness on the fourth day, and was surprised to find herself at Queens Hospital on Oahu with three-quarters of her lip and some skin from her chest and neck gone.

Shanda requires extensive surgery. Doctors in Hawaii are unable to do the work needed to reconstruct her bottom lip, so they are looking at plastic surgeons in California. Her medical insurance with her employer has ended, so friends are turning to the community for support.

The “Spirit of Kohala” booth will have a silent auction, face painting, t-shirts, baked goods and a “Share the Spirit” donation jar. One Kohala family decided to teach their children about the true meaning of Christmas by donating a portion of their Christmas budget to Shanda. They encourage and challenge others to do the same.

Any donation of baked goods, preserves, jams/jellies is appreciated. We are grateful for any items or business coupons that could be used for the silent auction and for any volunteer assistance. Call Lani at 430-0333.

Donations for the auction can be sent to Lani Eugenio at P.O. Box 871, Kapaau, HI 96755.

Monetary donations can be sent directly to Shanda Carvalho at P.O. Box 1265, Kapa`au, Hawaii 96755.

NOTE: Her grandmother was one of the last pure Hawaiians in Kohala (Kahuanui) and her mother is also part Hawaiian.

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