A gritty donation

Thanks a ton. OK, 100 cubic yards, which is very close to 100 tons. Hawaiian Cement is donating that much sand to the Waikiki Improvement Association for its Kuhio Beach Park Replenishment project.

"The beach has gotten continuously smaller over the years," said Fred Orr, managing director of the Moana Surfrider Hotel and the Princess Kaiulani Hotel. "Prior to the mayor's initiative to enhance Kuhio Beach Park, there were complaints about the sand and the condition of the park," he said, "it was a problem."

Following six months of discussions and agreements between Hawaiian Cement, the Waikiki Improvement Association and the City and County of Honolulu, the sand was delivered to the area around the Duke Kahanamoku statue and the rest of Kuhio Beach in Waikiki.

The sand was to be transported in four dump trucks, "the large ones you see on the freeway, not the small ones," said George Stewart, manager of sales and marketing for the Cement Division at Hawaiian Cement.

The so-called "inland beach sand," is "very close to the existing (sand on) Waikiki Beach," and is available on Oahu, he said, although the location was not specified.

The company ran tests on sand from Hilton Hawaiian Village to the statue, Stewart said, to check the quality of the sand, its gradation and particle size, to ensure that the donated sand would be similar.

Considering the number of visitors who pose for pictures by the statue with the beach and the ocean in the background "it made sense to us to bring in a nice quality sand," he said.

The donation, worth $5,000 to $7,000, includes delivery cost. The sand does not present a visible "branding" opportunity as visitors snapping photos won't see the company's name emblazoned on each grain, "We don't want to go that far," Stewart laughed.

"We have been interested in seeing the sand restored for a long time now," Orr said, "This is an important contribution to the welfare of the industry as well as the experience of our residents.

"This is a win-win for everybody. We owe Hawaiian Cement a great mahalo," he said.

The sand was distributed around the beach after dark by City and County crews, so as not to disturb daytime beach activities.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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