Senior Lūʻau, more than a fundraiser

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Photo by Lexis Viena

Senior Pololū Nakanelua receives his lūʻau dinner from a member of the Royal Order of Kamehameha at the class of 2013 Senior Lūʻau, Saturday, Dec. 8, in Nāmāhana Dining Hall.

By Lexis Viena, staff writer

The Senior Class held the annual Project Graduation fundraiser yesterday, December 8, at Nāmāhana Dining Hall. The Senior Lūʻau is one of the last hoorah’s for the senior class.

The lūʻau welcomed family and friends of the senior class to come and enjoy a Hawaiian feast, entertainment, picture-taking, a silent auction, and a student showcase. The lūʻau started at 5:00, when attendees started to meet and mingle.

During that time, in the elementary music room, the senior class parents were running a silent auction to raise money for Project Grad, a safe graduation night event. Some items donated by the senior class included a class conch shell, a poi pounder, gift cards, Hawaiian pillow case covers, and several other unique items.

Families were also invited to take pictures in the silent auction room.

Student Body President Kaleihoku Kubota emceed the evening.

“I think that the night went really well, it was really nice to see the senior with their families,” she said.

Keiki Kahu Sarah Aiwohi blessed the food, which was catered by the Royal Order of Kamehameha. Squid luau, was a favorite among the poi, rice, kalua pig, macaroni salad, chicken long rice, lomi salmon and poke.

Mr. Rama Camarillo, and Aaron Kamaliʻi provided dinner entertainment to the seniors and their guests.

At 7:00, the senior showcase started. The football boys presented their football ha’a for their last time. Afterwards, Maya Nitta and her father  sang a cheerful rendition of  “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

Keeping with the Christmas theme, Kahea Arrieta played a riveting version of “The First Noel” on piano.

Mrs. Juli Patao, Sheylyn Patao’s mother, played the violin in a duet of “Winter Serenade” with Arrieta.

Hula sisters Anuhea Arakawa, Iwalani Kaaa, Kalia Tamashiro and Raven Poepoe preformed two beautiful hula,  “Pua Lilia” and “E Pili.”

Lastly, Chayce Tancayo, Maleko Lorenzo and Aaron Dela-Cruz of Huʻeu played a selection of instrumentals– “Guava Jam,” “Hawaiian Suppa Man” and “Wipe-Out”– and sang versions of “She Was Mine” by A. J. Rafael and “Rua Kenana,” a song hailing from New Zealand.

“My favorite part of the night was being able to play for my classmates and their families,” Chayce Tancayo said.

Mrs. Patao was part of the lūʻau committee. “The hardest part during planning was finding times when all the parents were able to meet. It was hard to hui everybody,” she said, “but it all worked out in the end, and it feels good because we are doing it for the kids, and the parents and students were able to hang loose tonight.”

The night ended with a dance for students only as parents and other guests were shown the door.

“This lūʻau made me realize how close to graduation we really are,” Sai Furukawa said.