KEEP your feet on the ground but still reach for the stars. It's the best advice on how to turn dreams into realities.
It also might be the unofficial motto of the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation. At its annual Mahalo Luncheon Monday, ODKF recognized its scholarship and grant winners, awarding some $29,200 to individual athletes and teams.
The majority of winners will use the money to defray travel expenses to major competitions. Others will use the money as living expenses while training and attending school.
Jodi Jackson will use her grant to do both. The recent Stanford graduate, who is in the middle of applying to medical schools, is a national caliber triathlete.
Jackson, an outstanding swimmer at Punahou, placed second in her age group at a recent world championship triathlon qualifier. She had to decline the trip to the world competition because of a med school interview.
Both Jackson and ODKF scholarship recipient Stephanie Dean have their sights on the 2004 Olympics in Greece. Dean is a sprint kayaker who will be a freshman at UC San Diego, a short freeway drive away from the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
"The cost of being an athlete at the top level is a drain on anybody, even on families who have money,'' said Gretchen Duplanty, a member of the ODKF executive committee.
Duplanty knows about the expense firsthand. Her son, Chris, is a three-time water polo Olympian who will be going to his fourth Games as an assistant coach of the U.S. women's team.
Chris Duplanty was on the national team while also trying to complete his studies at UC Irvine. He is a former ODKF award winner.
The foundation received 45 applications this past year, with 25 scholarships given out.
"We're still trying to get the word out about ODKF,'' said Gretchen Duplanty. "It's especially hard for athletes in Hawaii to cover costs to competitions.''
Without ODKF, however, dreams - like stars - would be out of reach.
(The ODKF Web site is: http://www.planet-hawaii.com/duke).
TOAST OF ESPN:One person who is about to reach his dream is Neil Everett. The KGMB sportscaster is headed to Bristol, Conn., to join the ESPN staff.
Everett was given a great sendoff at Murphy's Bar & Grill Monday night. Friends and colleagues gathered to help him "tie one on'' ... presenting him with ties now that he'll have to dress up for his national sportscasts.
Everett took the roasting and toasting in stride with the same good humor he showed on-air. He'll be missed.
GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN:Lost in Tiger Woods' wondrous victory at the 100th U.S. Open was the following story about Bee Stewart, mother of the late Payne Stewart.
Bee Stewart lives in Springfield, Mo., about 2,000 miles away from Pebble Beach, Calif.
For the past eight months, since her son died in a plane crash, the 81-year-old Mrs. Stewart kept an American flag in her garden at half mast.
Late Sunday, according to one wire service story, she didn't know exactly what had happened at the U.S. Open. She said she hasn't watched golf on TV since the plane crash.
But she knew enough. She went out to the garden, took down the old flag and placed a new one on the pole, at full staff.
Her son's reign as U.S. Open champ had officially ended.
Cindy Luis is Star-Bulletin sports editor.
Her column appears weekly.