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PAHOA, Hawaii: On Monday, Hawaii County officials will open the new Pahoa Senior Center. The former Pahoa Fire Station was converted for its new use through a community effort that involved the work of volunteer apprentices from the Hawaii Carpenters Union, plumbers and electricians. During the renovation in 2011, Big Island Video News covered the pouring of concrete (right).
Puna’s kupuna will have a new gathering place starting June 18, when Mayor Billy Kenoi, Puna Councilman Fred Blas and other dignitaries welcome them into the Pāhoa Senior Center.
The public is invited to Monday’s 10 a.m. dedication ceremony that will feature a formal blessing by Father Joey Ranjo of Sacred Heart Church, live entertainment and food donated by area businesses.
Volunteer apprentices from the Hawai‘i Carpenters Union teamed with Department of Parks and Recreation carpenters, plumbers and electricians to convert the former Pāhoa Fire Station into a convenient location in the center of Pāhoa.
Seniors, who have been using the adjacent Pāhoa Community Center, now can go to the new facility to enroll in weekday classes ranging from foreign language to dancing, sign up for the nutrition program and obtain picture identifications. Booths showcasing Senior ID, Senior Employment, RSVP and various other services will be assembled for public benefit during Monday’s dedication ceremony.
“It’s an honor and privilege to present this new facility to our cherished kupuna,” Mayor Kenoi said. “Mahalo to the Hawai‘i Carpenters Union apprentices and Department of Parks and Recreation maintenance staff for working together to complete this project, along with the many Pāhoa businesses, groups and volunteers who have made generous donations for the dedication ceremony.”
The No. 1 Chinese BBQ, L&L Drive-Inn, Luquins Mexican Restaurant, Bryson’s Cinders, Paul’s Repair Service and Gas Station, Pāhoa Cash & Carry Store, Sanford’s Service Center Inc., Madie Greene, and Councilman Blas all donated food for the event. Also, Dan Nicks AKA “Elvis Presley,” the Puna Men’s Chorus, Ernie Cruz, the Alu Like Senior Group, and the Pāhoa Senior Center ukulele class instructed by Nohealani Sarong will entertain the attendees. Stanley Oishi from Big Rock Anthurium is providing flowers, while na kane volunteers are helping with the event.
SOURCE: Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation