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Nicole Kato

Carolyn Sapp Daniels

Photo from Leilani Keough

Photo from Leilani Keough

Back in 1991, Carolyn Sapp (now Carolyn Sapp Daniels) was crowned Miss Hawaii and one year later, she went on to win Miss America (1992).

“Being Miss America was absolutely phenomenal, but being from Hawaii and being able to represent Hawaii was a complete privilege,” she says. Daniels, who was featured on our cover Nov. 13, 1991, now is back living on the North Shore with her three children: Kai O’Cain (7), Keira Makanalani (4) and Kale’a Charlie-Rose (3).

“All my children have Irish-Hawaiian names (as husband Alex, who also has an impressive resume for his stunt work, is Irish),” she explains. “With three babies, it’s always a little crazy, but it’s always fun.”

And Daniels knows crazy.

She has done stunt work for Along Came Polly, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Dictator and most recently Dead Man Down, which stars Colin Farrell.

“I’ve been doing (driving stunts), car crashes, things like that,” she says. “And water, anything related to water because I’m certified SCUBA. That has been an adventure.”

Daniels says her stunt work has been exciting, but notes that she must always be very careful.

“I did have one scare where I had a concussion and landed in the hospital. That was not fun. That was a crazy time.

“I’m a mom first. My first priority will always be my family. My No. 1 priority is to be the best mom I can possibly be.”

The mommy mindset made her decide that it was time for her kids to learn about Hawaii.

While traveling with her husband and children (their family motto is “have family, will travel”), Daniels home-schooled her keiki and taught them Hawaiian words, but she says it’s nice to get them back into school.

“When you’re here in Hawaii and you have Hawaiian studies in school, it’s a totally different perspective,” she says. “I want them to learn to love and respect the ocean, this is part of their heritage, where mommy grew up.

“I wanted them to learn the culture, the sights, the sounds, the tastes, explore all that at a young age. It’s been wonderful to see it through their eyes.”

Now that Daniels is back home in Hawaii, she is continuing her mission to raise awareness about domestic violence and child abuse, which she has done for the past 22 years.

She is an honorary celebrity chairwoman of One Billion Rising, which is making its debut in Honolulu Feb. 14, 2014, at Magic Island.

“Think of it as a very large flash mob (to raise awareness about domestic violence and child abuse),” Daniels says. “It’s synchronized around the world, and it’s really an honor to be part of something like that.”

Daniels is glad to be back home, and even happier that she gets to share with her kids the beauty and wonder of Hawaii.

“You always have to come back to your roots,” she says.

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