Freestyle: Play hard, help kids

Jun. 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

Anuhea will be one of the performers at this weekend's fundraiser at the Pagoda Restaurant. (Star-Advertiser File)

Anuhea will be one of the performers at this weekend’s fundraiser. (Star-Advertiser File)


My blog premiered last year, shortly after I went to the music, film and interactive festival that is South by Southwest. In search of a blog photo, I settled on one of myself at Queen’s Beach in Waikiki, wearing a souvenir from the fest: a T-shirt that says, “Play Hard, Do Good.”

That way of life is a mantra for many young creatives and in the booming tech world, and a good part of SXSW is devoted to sessions exploring how best to do just that. And it’s a style that’s always resonated with me, as a writer and a rock ‘n’ roll superfan.

‘R.E.A.C.H. Out’

With Anuhea, Justin Young, Micah G. and friends

» Where: Pagoda Restaurant, 1525 Rycroft St.
» When: 4:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday, June 30
» Cost: $75
» Info:

So I’d like to recommend a weekend event that will allow YOU to play hard and do good: Saturday’s “R.E.A.C.H. Out” party at the Pagoda Restaurant.

Ross Shinyama, president of the Honolulu Professionals Foundation, the non-profit organization sponsoring the party, explained his organization is partnering with Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui and other community organizations and businesses to host the benefit.

“R.E.A.C.H.” stands for “Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture and Health,” and plenty of Hawaii’s middle-school students could really use more of that. The program will provide after school programs for intermediate and middle school students, focusing on academic enrichment, arts and culture, and athletics.

“Simply put, our upcoming event is shaping up to be great,” Shinyama said. It will include three stages of live entertainment; food booths from local restaurants; beer, wine, and specialty drinks; and a silent auction.

Entertainers confirmed to play at the event — all of whom have donated their time — include Anuhea, Funkshun, Ho‘aikane, Kama Kakaio, Weldon Kekauoha, Manoa DNA, Micah G., the Royal Kunia Street Band, Jon Yamasato and Justin Young.

Micah G., third from left, will perform at this weekend's fundraiser. (Star-Advertiser File)

Micah G., third from left, will perform at this weekend’s fundraiser. (Star-Advertiser File)

Anuhea is scheduled to open the event at 4:30 p.m. That makes for another SXSW connection, as Anuhea was one of the performers from Hawaii chosen to take part in an official SXSW showcase this year — a competitive honor that reflects her hard work and talent. Anuhea contributes regularly to Hawaii causes, and you know she’s a beautiful singer who puts on a great show.

Restaurants and food vendors contributing include Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room, Nalo Farms, Hukilau, the Pagoda Restaurant, Murphy’s Bar and Grill, JJ Dolans, JJ Bistro, Pint & Jigger, Hanapa‘a Sushi, Hawaiian King Candies, Tiki’s Grill & Bar and Honolulu Burger Company. There will be martini, wine and beer stations and — you know it — a silent auction.

The event is expected to draw as many as 2,000 attendees, Shinyama said.

To learn more about the Honolulu Professionals Foundation, visit or the foundation’s Facebook page.
Elizabeth Kieszkowski is editor of TGIF, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s weekly arts and entertainment section. Reach her via email at or follow her on Twitter.

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