This Dining Event Really Is Special

Chances are you’ve been glued to the TV watching the 2012 London Olympics and even shed some tears from the inspiring stories of the amazing athletes.

Special Olympics Hawaii is no different in that it too has its share of great athletes, and all with a memorable story of their own – except that you don’t need to wait every four years to hear about it.

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HPD Chief Louis Kealoha with Jerry “Mana” Kama

Special Olympics Hawaii, which provides year-round sports training and competition opportunities to those with intellectual disabilities, recently named Jannellie “Henny” Basilio its Female Athlete of the Year and Jerry “Mana” Kama its Male Athlete of the Year.

Basilio, an eighth-grader at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind, participates in a number of sports, including swimming, track and field, bowling, softball and basketball. “I like running the best,” says Basilio, who earned the nickname “Mother Henny” because of her caring and mothering nature toward her teammates. “The training is hard. I’m motivated by other athletes to do my best.”

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Todd Apo, chairman of Special Olympics Hawaii board of directors; Jannellie “Henny” Basilio; and Nancy Bottelo, CEO and president of Special Olympics Hawaii

Kama, 17, who also happens to be deaf, lists track as his favorite too. In May, he was selected to light the torch at the opening ceremonies, which he says has been the highlight of his seven years with Special Olympics. In addition to his personal achievements, Kama also is recognized for his leadership qualities, such as leading warmups in practice and directing younger teammates in their events.

Next for Special Olympics Hawaii is its Tip a Cop event Aug. 16 and 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. at participating Ward Centers restaurants, including Dave and Buster’s, Kincaids, Ryan’s Grill, The Old Spaghetti Factory and Wahoo’s Fish Taco.

Local diners will have the opportunity to experience one-of-a-kind service as volunteer law enforcement officers deliver dishes, refill glasses and bus tables for a good cause.

For a list of participating eateries, visit