(BIVN) – A bill to name a Honoka’a ballfield after a beloved, departed member of the Hāmākua community was given preliminary approval by the Hawaii County Council Committee on Public Works and Parks & Recreation on Feb. 6.
Council Chair Valerie Poindexter – who represents the Hāmākua district – introduced Bill 99, which recognizes Lala Epenesa, Jr.’s, numerous contributions to sports in the community. The bill was advanced to the full council with a positive recommendation.
From the language of the bill:
Lala Epenesa, Jr., born February 10, 1967, was a lifetime resident of Honoka`a until he left this life on January 4, 2018. Lala worked as a Parks Maintenance Supervisor III in South Kohala/Hāmākua for the County of Hawai`i from August 2, 2010, until his passing.
Lala Epenesa, Jr. devoted his personal time and talent as a volunteer coach, helping children and teens develop their athletic skills as well as good sportsmanship. He coached and volunteered for T-ball, Pop Warner Football, Softball—All Age Divisions, and Baseball— All Age Divisions. Lala was also a member of the coaching staff for the Hāmākua Little League, the Gold Coast Little League, and took our island girls to the mainland for the Little League All Star Softball tournament.
Lala Epenesa, Jr. will be sincerely missed by all of his peers at the Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation, as well as by the Hāmākua community.
The purpose of this ordinance is to commemorate in perpetuity the selfless contributions of community service made by this truly remarkable young man by naming the lower or” Little League” ballfield at the Honoka’a Park in his honor, pursuant to Chapter 15, Article 8, Section 15- 67( a)( 2)( C) of the Hawaii County Code 1983 ( 2016 Edition, as amended), which provides that an open area may be named for a person who ” has contributed significantly to the recreational programs in the community in which the open area is located.”