By Dave Donnelly

Friday, May 11, 2001

Sweet 16 celebration
brings toys for HUGS

DESERVING of one of the biggest hugs at tonight's HUGS fund-raising dinner at the Royal Hawaiian's Monarch Room is 16-year-old Stasia Levin, a volunteer for the organization that takes its initials from Help, Understanding & Group Support. Stasia, described by HUGS exec director Donna Witsell as a "Super Teen," began doing volunteer work for the group while in the seventh grade. An example of her giving nature was when she celebrated her "Sweet 16" birthday last month. Instead of party guests buying CDs, clothes, jewelry, etc., they were asked instead to bring toys for HUGS' "Silver Lining Toy Chest," opened to kids undergoing painful procedures. Her party guests came through with 256 toys, including 119 Barbie Dolls and 118 Hot Wheels. Stasia and her mom, Manya Levin, hot- wheeled them to HUGS in a toy-laden SUV, earning the love and appreciation of HUGS forever ... Tickets for the dinner and auction ($125) are available at the door tonight. HUGS board member Howard Dashefsky of Channel 8 news emcees the show, and Cathy Foy-Mahi lined up the entertainment ...

GROUP 70, the design firm, had an in-house competition to design the ultimate dog house to be auctioned at the Honolulu Symphony Ball, "2000&1," on May 28. The winning design is actually a lanai -- yep, a "dog lanai." Since Group 70 designed Koele Lodge -- yes, on Lanai -- you're bound to see some similarities. Who said "It's a dog's life?" For tickets, call 531-0815 ...

Amazing Grace

WITH a show called "Grace & Glorie, " you might expect the two actresses playing them are on stage for nearly the entire evening, and you'd be right. The stage in this case is at Manoa Valley Theatre and the play opens May 16. Grace is Jo Pruden, who's played a plethora of roles on isle stages, but I can't recall her portraying someone 90 years old before. This is an illiterate senior from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia given to such backwoods ruminations as "He made me feel like a lump of lard in a hot frying pan." Glorie is Shari Lynn, another veteran of Hawaii theater, though exclusively given to musicals for the past 30 years ...

LOOKING for a bargain on Mother's Day? While the various brunches at Waikiki Hotels cost a small fortune, Sean Priester has come up with both a Mother's Day brunch and supper at the Wild Mushroom in the Richards Street YWCA. The brunch ranges from $7.50 to $13.50 (for Crab Cake Benedict) and there are three 90-minute seatings beginning at 9 a.m. The hourlong suppers begin at 3 p.m. and cost $18.50, including music by Ginai ...

Putt for dough

ANY golfer can tell you the oldest of clichés on the course is "Drive for show, putt for dough." Well, Denis Akimoto, manager of Longs' Wahiawa Store, knows a bit about that. Thanks to him and his putting ability, two charities are better off financially today. In fact, the National Kidney Foundation and the American Lung Association will receive $25,000 each from Longs, thanks to Akimoto sinking a putt in a charity golf tourney at Honolulu Country Club this week. Longs had already pledged a $25,000 gift to the charities, and this was pricey icing ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.
His columns run Monday through Friday.

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