Keeping Score

By Cindy Luis

Tuesday, October 8, 1996


Tom Haine's memory,
spirit burn brightly

ONE flame was extinguished while another continued to burn brightly last Saturday night.

The Celebrity Sports Invitational at the Ihilani Resort & Spa closed the book on the quadrennium fund-raising efforts of the U.S. Olympic Committee-Hawaii. A combined live/silent auction raised approximately $100,000 to be credited toward the state committee goal of $150,000.

"Every state has a goal each Olympic quadrennium," said Jim Myers, chair of the U.S. Olympic Committee-Hawaii. "Ours was $150,000. We'll probably be closer to $300,000 after this event.

"The money all goes back to the USOC but is credited to our account. This is it for the year in terms of fund-raising activities. We'll start on the new quadrennium in January."

Last year's auction earned $145,000, but that included a $52,000 net bid for a HUMVEE.

Myers is stepping down as USOC-H chair but hopes to keep the island efforts humming through the 2000 Games in Sydney. He is looking for a replacement as chair as well as "anyone with a burning passion for the Olympics" who would like to join the Hawaii committee. Call him at 524-7400.

THE flame that still burns bright is the memory of the late Tom "Daddy" Haine. The captain of the 1968 U.S. Olympic men's volleyball team was honored Saturday night by the USOC "for sports excellence and his contribution to the sport of volleyball and the Olympic tradition."

The small reception that preceded the Invitational gala aptly - and sadly - reflected the change in the Olympic movement. The Games have become big business, needing big bucks to operate, and the stars came out for a good cause.

In contrast, the gathering for Haine mirrored his spirit in its simplicity and genuine friendliness. It's been a few years since one of Hawaii's great sportsmen and a two-time Olympian (1964 and '68) passed away, but his memory and ideals are very much alive.

"The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Tom isn't volleyball," said Gail O'Rourke Wong, a member of the 1964 U.S Olympic women's volleyball team. "He was the most wonderful, excellent man first. Then he was an excellent volleyball player. The combination was awesome."

"Besides our personal friendship, the volleyball connection was very significant," said Dennis Berg, who competed with Haine on numerous Outrigger Canoe Club teams. "I feel it was a pretty significant accomplishment when I turned him into a fan. He never wanted to sit and watch volleyball, not even when his kids were playing. He was too active, anxious, impatient. He had to be playing.

"But when my daughter Erin, Tommy's goddaughter, came up through the ranks, and then my daughter Lindsey, we were able to twist Tommy's arm to come watch them play. He watched them grow into players of the caliber he loved and respected as far as their competitiveness and skill level."

ERIN Berg is currently a sophomore at North Carolina, playing volleyball for the Tar Heels. Lindsey, a senior at Punahou, was named an All-American at last summer's Junior Olympics.

"It's nice for the family to have Dad recognized," Marc Haine said of his father, an 18-time USVBA All-American and 1991 inductee into the U.S. Volleyball Hall of Fame. "I see his spirit in the people he touched."

"It's hard to be reminded like this, but you feel good because he was such a neat man," said daughter Kisi Haine. "He was a pretty cruise kind of guy, pretty humble. Whether he would want this (tribute) is another thing. He was a great guy, simple, humble, a good athlete and a good friend."

Here's hoping that today's athletes will carry that kind of torch.



Cindy Luis is a Star-Bulletin sportswriter.
Her column appears weekly.




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