In honor of our island keiki, the Kīhei Youth Center (KYC) and Sen. Rosalyn H. Baker, the Hawai‘i Medical Service Association (HMSA) and various community partners present the 4th Annual South Maui Children & Youth Day (SMCYD) event on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 3 to 8 p.m. within the Kenolio Recreation Complex in North Kīhei.
The yearly festival is held to celebrate families and their keiki, (ages preschool through middle school) and coincides with “Children and Youth Month,” which was designated as October by the Hawai‘i State Legislature in the ’90s. Maui is the only Neighbor Island that holds an event affiliated with the state observance.
The SMCYD event features cool, hands-on educational activities for children, along with family-style entertainment and food booths that benefit South Maui youth activities and clubs.
Keiki enrichment. While kids just want to have fun, parents support the theme of hāehu (to grow well) for their keiki. Kīhei Youth Center Executive Director Lehua Huddleston-Hafoka (left) and Sen. Roz Baker invite the community to celebrate both concepts on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 3 to 8 p.m. during the 4th Annual South Maui Children & Youth Day in North Kīhei.
“It’s a great opportunity for families to spend quality, fun time together,” said Sen. Baker. “It implements the statewide theme of hāehu, to grow well.”
According to KYC, the event fits perfectly with their mission to develop more fun family opportunities, and through the joint efforts and vision of West and South Maui Sen. Baker, SMCYD became a reality in October 2007.
“And, thanks to HMSA and our generous community partners, including the County of Maui, there is no admission fee,” said Lehuanani Huddleston-Hafoka, an event co-chair and executive director of KYC.
The Hawai‘i Dental Service will feature an oral health game, while the college’s dental assisting and nursing program students will be onsite with healthy tips and treats. Home Depot will hold a “Kid’s Woodwork Workshop” where keiki can make and take home one-of-a-kind projects, and Friends of the Kīhei Youth Center will demonstrate poi pounding, lei-making and tapa print making.
Not only will every preschool to middle school child who completes the “Treasure Hunt” earn some free food and a drawing entry, he or she will also receive an “age appropriate book” provided by the Rotary Clubs of Kīhei-Wailea, Kīhei Sunrise and Lahaina Sunrise.
Some attendees will be “lovin’ it” as that zany, redheaded clown, Ronald McDonald, welcomes keiki between 4 and 6 p.m. (Skip the greeting if your children are coulrophobic.)
This year’s event includes exploring the Digital Bus and some “fun-while-you-learn” activities from Maui Ocean Center. The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and the Association of the Fishponds of Maui will provide some cultural ocean education as well.
The first 500 children will receive a reusable goodie bag provided by American Resort Development Association, and member company Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas will offer creative youths the opportunity to paint flower pots—the perfect home for ti plants from Camp Grand Wailea’s ti plant project.
Get moving in the bicycle rodeo or jump for joy in one of the many bouncy castles available for active keiki. Kids may also get creative during some face-painting fun with Artie Parti, and there will be a variety of captivating games, and arts and crafts to keep the fun flowing throughout the day.
“It will be a fun-filled day for everyone, so we encourage parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles to bring their keiki down to children and youth day,” said Huddleston-Hafoka.
Family entertainment begins at 5 p.m., with the official kick-off presentation from the Cub Scout Pack 55-Kīhei Ward and a proclamation by Mayor Charmaine Tavares, followed by Chinese ribbon dancing, a Maui Taekwondo demonstration, and performances by Louise Alborano, Kuwela and King Kamehameha III School sixth-grader and falsetto singer Kaulike Pescaia.
The big day concludes with a performance from the keiki of Kumu Hula Aunty Doll Aricayos’ Pohaikealoha Hula Hālau.
Join in the family fun on Saturday, Oct. 16, for the South Maui Children & Youth Day event upon the grounds of the Kenolio Recreational Complex just outside the youth center, across from the Kīhei Canoe Club. Ample parking is available.