Randy Cadiente

Off the Fringe

By Randy Cadiente

Sunday, July 8, 2001

Konishiki gives 35 kids
chance of a lifetime

SUCCESS, according to retired sumotori Konishiki, is not measured by how many championships you win. Or by how many medals you can drape around your neck.

Success, he said, is giving back to the community.

"It's not about trophies or anything like that," said Konishiki, who now signs his name Saleva'a Atisanoe, Konishiki. "It's all about what you can do for your community."

In his case, it's giving 35 youngsters from the Leeward coast the chance of a lifetime.

Through his foundation -- aptly named the Konishiki Kids Foundation -- Atisanoe has, for the past three years, raised enough money from his annual golf tournament to send the kids to Japan for a week to learn another culture.

"When I got chosen to participate in this program I felt overjoyed and very honored to be part of this Japan experience," said 12-year-old Kainalu Chun, who was in this year's select group to make the trip to the Land of the Rising Sun in January. "Being that I come from a Japanese background, it made me understand and learn more about that part of my life. It was very interesting to meet other people from a different culture.

"This experience is one that I will never forget."

Chun, who will attend Kamehameha Schools in the fall, is not alone in his feelings.

Just listen to what some of the other fortunate youngsters wrote in the program book for the third annual Konishiki Kids Charity Golf Tournament:

>> Shirvel Landford: "Thank you for making me and 34 other sixth grade students' dream come true. Going to Japan was an experience of a lifetime."

>> Pai Sialegu: "I will always remember the things you told us, the lessons you taught us and the comfort you bestowed upon us. ... I really appreciate what you did for me."

>> Ashley Napoleon-Kawelo: "This program is very great because you are giving back to the community. What you and the sponsors did for us is something that is very unexplainable. ... Through this trip I got to experience a different culture and I also got to experience a foreign country."

Thanks to the money raised (around $50,000, said tournament chairman Henry Ko) in the golf tournament at the Hawaii Prince Golf Club on June 28, 35 more kids from the Leeward Coast will learn first-hand next year what they are talking about.

"This is for the kids," Atisanoe said.

"My ultimate goal is to build a community center on the Leeward coast to give them more opportunities to learn," he added. "Until then, this program (Japan trip) will allow the kids to see a world outside of Hawaii."

WINNERS' CIRCLE: The team of Lyle Kanoa, Adrian Kanoa and Jake Feagai shot a net 53 to win top honors in the Konishiki Kids Charity Golf Tournament. Reid Takatsuka, Bart Nakamoto and Kendall Fukumo finished second.

Tim Betanga and Akira Honda won round-trip tickets for two to Japan, with hotel and tickets to the September Basho. Ken Sakihama won round-trip tickets for two to Las Vegas.

Star-Bulletin assistant sports editor Randy Cadiente is a once-a-week hacker who carries a 15-handicap. He can be reached at 529-4785 or:

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