Waha Nui

Polynesian Cultural Center has hired Lara Leimana Fonoimoana as its new Hawaii sales manager. Lara knows the park well as the former lead dancer in Ha: Breath of Life and member of the PCC promotional team. She’s also a former Mrs. Hawaii and Mrs. America 2011-2012. PCC marketing director Raymond Magalei calls her “an ideal ambassador” for the Laie cultural attraction …


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Lara Fonoimoana

Speaking of PCC, Utah artist Eric Dowdle unveiled his commissioned folk art landscape painting of the park in its board room last week, a treasure that will soon be available in puzzle form for shoppers at big box stores … My nominee for most unique 2012 Kaneohe Christmas Parade entry: Jan-Peter Preis and his business-group colleagues pedaling away on their bright-red, seven-seat Conference Bike. And many thanks to the King Builders of King Intermediate, trash pickers extraordinaire at the parade …

Windward United Church of Christ was packed Dec. 8 for a second Windward Choral Society concert of new and old carols and hymns, directed by the energetic Susan Duprey. It may have confused a few neighbors, however, to hear the rollicking sounds of the Tradewinds Jass Band bursting through the rafters as well … Happy 100th Birthday to Grace Mow, a McKinley High graduate, Sunday School teacher and world traveler. Her family threw her an intimate party Dec. 17 at Kinaole Estate in Kaneohe, complete with lion dance. According to care home operator Beth Slavens, Grace “has a great sense of humor and loves to play gin rummy” …

Congratulations to Ahuimanu Valley’s Loxley Keala, named No. 4 in the state by the Star-Advertiser for girls prep volleyball. (Hi, Cuz!) The Iolani senior is heading for University of Missouri next fall with the newspaper’s Player of the Year Carly Kan. Also on the list’s Top 15 are Kahuku’s Penina Snuka and Adora Anae … Neighbors helping neighbors: Kaneohe’s 2012 Basket of Blessings campaign assembled food baskets for more than 400 area families for Thanksgiving