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Rain fails to put a damper on Donohue's Kick Start day


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POSTED: Saturday, September 12, 2009

Despite off and on rain, a crowd of 300 packed Richard and Sooz Mirikitani's outdoor Bayer Estate for former Police Chief Lee Donohue's Kick Start Karate fundraiser Sunday. Some $50,000 was raised for the program, well over the goal of $30,000. There was much music, food from top restaurants and beverage for guests to enjoy on the beachfront property. There were also number of law enforcement officers in the crowd, including newly retired chief Boise Correa and Paul Putzulu, who is filling the chief's spot until a new top cop is named. Putzulu is in the running for the job. Mayor Mufi Hannemann joined the group and gave a speech thanking Donohue for Kick Start, which keeps kids out of trouble, and also gave the crowd a mahalo for their support. He praised Donohue for not only teaching youngsters karate but teaching them life skills and keeping them on the right path, away from drugs and crime. He said youngsters growing up in Hawaii who stay on the right path could grow up to be president as Barack Obama did. He also spoke highly of the police and other first responders. Then he said, “;I cannot leave without singing a song”; and crooned “;I'll Remember You”; ...

Danny Kaleikini attended with wife Jackie. Not only did he sing to much applause, he carried a large towel around, wiping seats that were wet. Other singers included Jana Souza, 16; Colby Benson, 14, and Tia Inouye, a little 11-year-old with a big voice. Jerry Santos and Friends showed up later and performed. Randy Luna was emcee. Playing music all day was the Kapakahi Band, made up of SHOPO President Teneri Ma'afala, Rory Souza, Richard Peralta and the only non-police officer in the group, Wendell Kailihiwa. Those singer-instrumentalists are good ...

A new Sam Choy was among restaurateurs in food booths. Sam has lost 168 pounds and has not changed his wardrobe because he says he will lose more. Way to go Sam. Sam's new motto is “;Never trust a skinny chef until now.”; It used to be “;Never trust a skinny chef.”; Several other eateries provided excellent food. Among those providing beverages were George Szigeti of Better Brands and James Balaloa of Anheuser Busch. Besides Donohue and wife, Lucy, participating were their children, Leanne Williams and Police Sergeant Lee Jr., and grandchilden, Jaymee, Carlee and Jeffrey Williams and Trey and Kalee Donohue. Also taking part were Morgan and Steven Donohue Jr., children of the late Steven Donohue. Other Kick Start families kicked in as well. One was the Bautistas. Merl Bautista is Kick Start board secretary and helped Leanne keep things running smoothly. Her husband, Ricky, was a bartender and their children, Danielle, 13, and Christian, 18, were servers….