Opera Ball fundraiser draws 700 people, raises $510,000
ENTERTAINMENT at Saturday's highly successful Opera Ball had an illuminating climax as scores of members of the Humming Chorus from Puccini's "Madama Butterfly," dressed in black, strolled through the ballroom with red contemporary hand-held lighting. They were Hawaii Opera Theatre Chorus and Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus members. Singers Mary Chesnut Hicks, Malia Kaai, Chiho Villasenor, Amy Healey
and Erik Haines Zerlina
, who performed operatic selections earlier, encircled pianist Beebe Freitas
. Staged by HOT Director Henry Akina
, It was impressive. And so was the ball, chaired by Joyce Tomonari
, with co-chairs Naome Lowe
and Kristen Chan
. It drew 700 people and raised $510,000 for HOT. A surprise was good-looking transgender women, the Gender Benders
, selling Opera-tunities to help with HOT's production wish list. Nola Nahulu
and Freitas directed the chorus. Dancing to the music of Shining Star the Band
followed dinner. It takes many supporters and volunteers to pull off something like this. They deserve much praise ...
HAWAII'S Kim Coco Iwamoto, was mentioned on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" Thursday for being the first openly transgender woman to win a state-level office in the U.S. Kim won a school board seat ...
Star of the Sea elementary alums reunite
STAR OF THE SEA elementary alums gathered for lunch at Palomino recently to congratulate vacationing fellow classmate Joseph Peterson
on his promotion to Army three-star general. He and his wife, Ann Moix Peterson
, now live in Washington. "She had a crush on him since the fifth grade," said their classmate, singer Sydette Sakauye-Stanton
. Others in the group were Janet Murphy, Donna Gomes, Merrie Carol Grain, Stephanie Rezents, Blaise Caldeira, Thomas Yoneyama, Mel Mendonca, Michael Yano, John Savio
and James Akau
. Some hit Murphy's after lunch ...
LINDA MONIZ PETERSEN was taken to lunch at Alan Wong's Pineapple Room Nov. 4 after retiring from Oahu Transit Services. Linda worked summers at Honolulu Rapid Transit and when HRT became MTL, she joined the company full time, working for 31 years. MTL later became OTS. Her dad, Al Moniz, formerly ran HRT and MTL. Kaina Awaa, Aileen Engle and Sarona DeCosta took Linda to lunch ...
, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of people, places and things in our Hawaii. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org