VIDEO: Floating Luminary Ceremony Shines Light on Love for Japan
By Wendy Osher
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08WMZMsX1gY /] Messages and prayers written on luminary bags were sent out to sea aboard five double hulled canoes Saturday night in honor of Japan for the hardship that continues following an earthquake and tsunami last month. Hundreds of people gathered along the shoreline of Kahului Harbor to participate in Floating Luminary fundraising event.
The event, hosted by Pacific Radio Group, included a prayer service conducted by various denominations, as well as prayer chants in Hawaiian by Kapono’ai Molitau, and in the Buddhist tradition by Rev. John Hara. It was created as a way for the community to reflect on the tragic events that have impacted Japan, share personal thoughts, and participate in ongoing relief efforts.
“We at Pacific Radio Group feel that this is a very significant event to gather together to share our blessings, send our messages of Aloha, and to share what we feel for Japan, and to make the connection for their recovery,” said Sherri Grimes, event coordinator and Promotions Director at Pacific Radio Group.
The event also included entertainment by traditional koto musicians, the Maui Taiko drummers, and local entertainer Benny Uyetake.
“We are grieving for those that are in Japan that have killed or injured because of the tsunami,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa. “The devastation was so vast that we’re looking at major changes in people’s lives. Literally, thousands of people died, and the rebuilding process is going to take years to do,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa.
The Floating Luminary Ceremony was a Hawaii Red Cross approved fundraiser with 100% of proceeds going to Japan Relief.
Entities that provided assistance in the preparation of the event include the Hawaiian Canoe Club, the State of Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division, State of Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources, the Carpenters Union, A&B Properties, the Japanese Cultural Society, the Maui Buddhist Society, Maui Girl Scouts, The Maui Department of Fire & Public Safety, Benny Uyetake, Maui Taiko, Baldwin High School Key Club, Miyake Concrete, Christ the King Church, Na Hanona Kulike O Pi’ilani, and Herman Andaya.
Pacific Radio Group is a locally-owned multi-media group that includes: KPOA 93.5 FM, 99.9 KISS-FM KJKS, Native 92.5 FM KLHI, Da Jam 98.3 FM, KNUI 900 AM, ESPN 550 AM KMVI, and mauinow.com.