Hawaii musicians make time for giving
By Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez
| U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific | December 06, 2012
Whether military or civilian, it made no difference for the many musicians in Hawaii who donated their time and talent to make a difference.
U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific and BAE systems held the 5th Annual Mele o na Keiki (Music for the Children) Holiday concert at the Hawaii Theatre here Dec. 2. The event’s performance was MarForPac’s gift to the community.
Every year, as the holiday season draws near, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Reserve, conducts a nationwide donation program to provide gifts for less-fortunate children in the U.S. Oahu Marines used the concert to help the Toys for Tots program here.
At the concert, more than 1,000 toys and more than $1,200 were donated for the less-fortunate keiki in Oahu, but the real gift was the show put on the by the band and its guest artists.
Ginai, one of Hawaii’s most accomplished entertainers, sparkled across the stage, charming the audience during her second performance in the annual concert. It was the meaning behind the concert that drew her back for another show.
“I really really love charity events,” Ginai said. “It just feels good to be here. It feels good to donate and it feels good to give back.”
She wasn’t alone in returning; Henry Kapono, Chris Vandercook and Aiden James were other returning artists.
The Abrigo ‘Ohana added Hawaiian warmth to the event while Son Caribe performers, Cynthia Romero and Eddie Ortiz, input a bit of Latin charm.
While everyone enjoyed the concert, it was more than just entertainment but also a chance for the Marines to bond with the community for the holidays.
“It’s an opportunity for us to give something back to the community,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Michael W. Smith, officer in charge of the MarForPac band. “This is just a duty station for us, but for the time we’re here. This is where we live. This is where our spouses go to work. This is where our children go to school. This is where our family goes to church. I think this helps us be better custodians for the community we live in. It helps us interact with our host … and maybe opens eyes a little bit, that we’re not just Marines, we are here, we’re a part of the community too.”