Fourteen years ago, Boy Scout Troop 14 began a tradition of giving thanks to their elders by hosting a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with gifts and prizes.
Since then the troop has disbanded but the tradition is being carried on by parents and friends of the original Honalo-area troop who enjoy seeing the happiness and appreciation of the many residents of Hualalai Elderly Housing in Kailua-Kona.
More than 60 residents of the 96-resident affordable housing complex turned out for a tasty meal, prizes, gifts and the opportunity to socialize on Saturday. The menu featured turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, Chinese chicken salad, shrimp pasta and several desserts.
“Most of them wait for us all year — they are so happy and enjoy it so much,” said Shirlyn Umeno, who’s been involved with the dinner since its beginning and the troop well before then. “It’s really nice to see these old folks enjoy it.”
Umeno said the tradition at Hualalai Elderly began in 1999 as an Eagle Scout community service project. She expected a few of them to return for the dinner, but said it’s mainly an effort by the parents and friends today.
“All of the boys are all graduated – it’s now the parents of the scouts that keep this going on,” she said. “However, a few of the boys still come.”