We had the opportunity to visit the Paia Youth and Cultural Center on Paia Bay in Maui last week. It was the host site for the start of the fun race portion of the larger and longer Maliko Gulch run of the Olukai Ho’olaule’a. The first thing we noticed as we were signing up and getting to know some of the other 100 fun-racers out on the lawn was the great selection of music playing. Then a voice that sounded like a very young DJ came on the air – what was that all about?
I saw a person who seemed to be organizing some of the paddlers and seemed in charge of the building so I introduced myself and came to meet Peter. Peter told me that the music was provided by the youth staffed radio station located just above my head in the second floor of the center. It was just 7:30 am on a Saturday so it was obvious that a dedicated team of youth were managing the station.
He explained that the Paia Youth & Cultural Center had just completed a long round of fund-raising. The celebration was coming up soon. Part of their effort in hosting this event was in appreciation of all the support that Olukai has provided them through the years.
Peter proudly showed me some of the new paddle boards and windsurfers they had been able to acquire for the youth in training. We didn’t talk long. He had some young paddlers to encourage and help with their equipment and consequent launch into the ocean just out in the back. Throughout the extremely neat and clean clubhouse were slogans and posters supporting recycling, not smoking, respecting each other and the Hawaiian culture.