Kalaeloa Fair Aids Breast Cancer Patients And Keiki In Need

Holiday season is on the way, and along with it come opportunities to help the less fortunate and to have lots of fun while doing so.

The second annual West Oahu Festival will run from 4 to around 10 p.m. Oct. 26 at Kalaeloa Raceway Park. Put on by Ohana and Friends of West Oahu, the paniolo fair’s lineup includes ono food, live entertainment, display vehicles, a mechanical bull ride, a petting zoo, produce from Aloun Farms, a cook off and contests with cash prizes including: moon pie eating, Daisy Duke look-alike, most outrageous and ridiculous belt buckle, belly flop and horse drag race.

Highlight will be the demolition derby, benefiting Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. (Register to join the events at krphawaii.com.)

“Our hearts and spirits are in serving our community,” said Ohana and Friends of West Oahu secretary Patty Kahanamoku Teruya.

“We want to showcase our West Oahu plains, so we invite our tourist ohana and everyone to come out and experience this upcoming festival and enjoy the activities we have planned for your family.”

The seeds that would blossom into Ohana and Friends were sown 25 years ago, when Polly “Granny” Grace, now the organization’s vice president, decided to share some aloha with the under-served folks along the Waianae Coast. She raised funds and gathered homeless children and their families for a Keiki Christmas program at Maili Beach Park, where she provided food, keiki rides, clothing and a wrapped Christmas gift for all 1,500-plus in attendance.

“As Granny got older (she’s now 77), it got harder for her to put together this program,” said Teruya. Plus the price of city park permits, tents, chairs and stages all have gone up. In response, “Granny,” her daughter-in-law Jeanette L. Grace (now president) and Teruya formed a nonprofit, with plans to continue serving West Oahu.

Now a formal organization, the group relocated Keiki Christmas to Kalaeloa Raceway Park at Barbers Point and, using 10 buses, they gather families from shelters for a day of Christmas cheer.

Ohana and Friends board members all live in West Oahu, and their mission is to work with businesses, schools, community groups, churches and government agencies to help their community through annual family-centered events and beach and stream cleanups.

“We have partnered with Nani O Waianae to do community cleanups and dispose of unwanted, illegal tires along the Waianae Coast,” noted Teruya. “We strongly promote education about our beaches and our environment. Our hearts are big, and we want to be able to participate with our community and continue to serve the best way that we can.”

The festival’s goal is to raise funds for the signature Keiki Christmas program, as well as drivers education scholarships for high school students and a quarterly beach and stream cleanup.

Tickets cost $10, but $5 less if you dress like a cowboy. Admission comes with free parking and a corn on the cob.

For more information about the event, visit kalaeloaracewaypark.com.