Toys for Tots concert features MarForPac band, local artists
By Cpl. Cristina Noelia Gil
| | December 09, 2009
Music and holiday cheer filled the Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall Dec. 9 for the Second Annual Na Mele o na Keiki, “Music for the Children,” sponsored by BAE Systems, a worldwide partner of the USO and benefitting the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program.
The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band headlined the free show and local artists donated their time and talent for the holiday concert. Among the featured artists were the Honolulu Boy Choir, Danny Kaleikini, Carole Kai, Steve Hott, Jake Shimabukuro, Amy Hanaiali`i, Anita Hall and Jim Nabors.
“We’re very impressed by the professionalism and the attitudes displayed by the Marine band,” said Dawn Kalima, a Honolulu resident who enjoyed the show with her husband, brother-in-law and his wife. “It’s great to see so many local artists working hand-in-hand with the Marines to help Hawaii’s underprivileged kids in a time of such great need.”
The MarForPac band worked with several of the entertainers for weeks prior to the concert, quickly arranging compositions to compliment their various styles and musical backgrounds.
“We want to thank the Marines for everything they’ve done for so many years to bring smiles to the faces of Hawaii’s keiki (children),” said Danny Kaleikini, Hawaii’s Ambassador of Aloha. “It’s great to see our military and civilian ohana (family) come together for such a great cause.”
More than 1,600 people attended the show. Toys for Tots representatives were on hand accepting donations which amounted to more than 750 new toys and more than $3,000. This year’s goal is 45,000 toys. Every toy collected by Toys for Tots Hawaii will stay in Hawaii to be distributed to less-fortunate children.
As the holidays near, Toys for Tots will continue to accept donations at various locations across the islands. For more information on the program and drop-off locations, visit www.toysfortots.org.