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Thursday, December 7, 2000

MADD wants
Kakaako park

A 13-foot David Verbeck
sculpture of marble and
concrete is proposed

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

A memorial for victims of drunken driving accidents is being planned for the Kakaako Waterfront Park by the Hawaii chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

A presentation was made yesterday by MADD-Hawaii at a meeting of the Hawaii Community Development Corp., which oversees Kakaako and the park.

Proposed for the extreme ewa-mauka portion of the park is a 13-foot sculpture by artist David Verbeck.

The sculpture will consist of a marble and concrete base in the form of a key. On top are the figures of two people -- one symbolizing a victim and the other a comforter, or protector.

MADD-Hawaii officials see the memorial as a place families of accident victims and others can go to reflect on those whose lives have been lost.

"It's a visual reminder to the community that this is a preventable crime," said Theresa Paulette, chairwoman of MADD-Hawaii's memorial committee and a former president of the organization.

"It would also be a place for those who have been affected to reflect and remember -- and for hope," she said.

A survey of victims helped determine the site. "The victims preferred a place they could go, drive with their families and stay for a bit, and you can't do that on Alakea Street," Paulette said.

MADD-Hawaii also expects to use the memorial as a gathering place for formal events held by the 26-year-old organization, such as victim vigils and news conferences.

Jan Yokota, Hawaii Community Development Corp. executive director, said the board will likely vote in the next two months on an agreement allowing MADD-Hawaii to use the area.

MADD-Hawaii is expected to own and maintain the memorial.

Paulette said about $40,000 still needs to be raised for the project. Island Insurance has already donated $10,000.

She hopes the memorial can be completed by 2002.

E-mail to City Desk

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