Run Benefits Japan Tsunami Kids

I can still remember watching live on TV the March 11, 2011, tsunami in Japan. The endless wave of water swept across the land, lifting away cars and homes, as people ran for their lives.

I remember feeling so helpless as I sat safely with my family, witnessing this disaster.

In the aftermath, a reported 240 children lost both parents, and more than 1,300 lost one parent, according to Hiromi Okada, Hawaii Senior Life Enrichment Association Nadeshiko Club president.

In an effort to help these children, Nadeshiko Club created Rainbow for Japan Kids, a nonprofit program that enables children (primarily ages 12 to 15) from the Tohoku region of Japan to visit Hawaii for 10 days. Since 2011, more than 136 children from Tohoku have participated in Rainbow for Japan Kids, including 16 who arrive this week.

Konosuke Oda, general manager of travel company Hawaii H.I.S. Corp., also wanted to help, and created the Lea Lea Charity Run and Clean Up 5K which benefits Rainbow for Japan Kids.

Co-hosted by H.I.S. and Hawaii Senior Life Enrichment Association, the fourth annual Lea Lea Charity Run takes place Aug. 9 at 6 a.m. at Ala Moana Beach Park. After the run, participants are encouraged to join a beach cleanup from 8 to 9 a.m.

Entry fee for the Lea Lea 5K is $40 by Aug. 4; or $20 for children older than 5 years old, students with ID and seniors over 60 years old. Entry fee after Aug. 4 is $50.

To register, visit or stop in at Hawaii H.I.S. (in Don Quijote Kaheka, Waikiki Shopping Plaza, 1046 Bishop St. Suite A in downtown Honolulu, or at the H.I.S. Lea Lea Lounge in Royal Hawaiian Center).


Aug. 3 Mango Days 5K at Ala Moana Beach Park, 6:30 a.m. This special race was created to honor the memory of Patty Smith, daughter of Kit and Margie Smith, who lost her battle with lymphoma at the age of 19. For details, visit

Aug. 10-Nov. 16 BioAstin Marathon Readiness Series. Five great races increasing in distance, starting with the Boca Hawaii Norman Tamanaha 15K Aug. 10 at 6 a.m. at Kapiolani Park. For details, visit

Aug. 16-24 Duke’s OceanFest.

This nine-day event features a variety of ocean sports that were close to Duke Kahanamoku’s heart: longboard surfing, paddle-board racing, swimming, tandem surfing, surf polo, beach volleyball and more.


* Duke Kahanamoku Menehune Surf Fest by Na Kama Kai (6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.) at Kuhio Beach/Queen’s Beach

* Sand Volleyball Keiki Doubles Championship (8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.) at Kapiolani/Queen’s Volleyball Court

* Duke’s OceanFest Expo (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at Kuhio Beach

* SUP Showdown autograph signing and dry land clinic (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at Kuhio Beach

* Wounded Warrior Canoe Regatta (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at Ft. DeRussy Beach

* Hawaii Paddleboard Championship Duke’s Race (10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) in Hawaii Kai

* Opening Ceremonies (5 to 6 p.m.) at Duke’s Statue in Waikiki For full schedule of events and more details, visit