Hawaiian History Lesson with New Friends

Author: Rick Dunetz
January 25, 2009

Rick Dunetz
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Rick Dunetz

Executive Director at The Side-Out Foundation
Rick Dunetz is the founder and executive director of The Side-Out foundation. His passion for volleyball and his role as a coach led him to create the Foundation in honor of his mother, Gloria, who lived with breast cancer for six years.

Rick has coached volleyball in his local community for 15 years. Currently, he is the head coach of the Oakton girls freshman volleyball team and assistant coach for the girls varsity volleyball team in Vienna, Virginia.
Rick Dunetz
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pauahi_bioIn 1883, Bernice Pauahi Paki Bishop bequeathed her entire estate for the establishment of a school to educate Hawaiian children. Today, her endowment supports the largest independent pre-kindergarten through grade 12 school in the United States. Born December 19, 1831 in Honolulu, Hawai`i to High Chiefs Abner Paki and Laura Konia, Pauahi Paki was the great-granddaughter of Kamehameha I, the warrior chief who united all the islands of Hawai`i under his rule in 1810. Bernice Pauahi Paki Bishop, according to our new friends in Maui (Bala and Lisa Spencer), was also a victim of Breast Cancer.

spencerfamilyToday my wife Akiyo and I shared a wonderful day with the entire Spencer family, Bala, Lisa, Logan (6 years), Kale (4 years), Pa’u (18 months). Bala, the Head Volleyball Coach at Kamehameha School, had contacted us to host a Dig Pink match in Maui this year and since Akiyo and I were on vacation in Maui, we decided to meet up. Little did we know we would get such tremendous hospitality from such good people. Not only did they bring us beautiful Lei’s, they also carted us around the island in their black EuroVan and took us out to Lunch at an awesome local restaurant called Cafe 808. Akiyo, Lisa, and the kids bonded in the back seat while Bala and I talked a little volleyball shop up front. Before lunch we took a tour of the Kamehameha School grounds and let me tell you, it is one nice facility. If you could see the view from the turf football field you would fall over…just absolutely spectacular. We also had the great pleasure of meeting the AD of the school and later found out that his mother was going through her 3rd bout of Breast Cancer. Needless to say, this disease touches us all.

Bala and Lisa are going to help us get a Dig Pink movement started in Maui and, hopefully, throughout Hawaii in the comings years. The Side-Out Foundation is committed to helping Bala in anyway that we can. Based on our sort time together it would seem that he is a very big man with a very big heart and he has the support of a loving family. We have faith that Bala and his family will make a huge Dig Pink statement in Hawaii and hopefully teach his players valuable life lessons through the experience.

sungodsA little more history: In Hawaiian mythology, M?ui is a culture hero who appears in several different genealogies. He is the son of Akalana and his wife is Hinakawea (Hina). M?ui needed to stop the sun from moving so fast, because his mother, Hina, complained that her kapa (bark cloth) is unable to dry because the days are so short. M?ui climbs to the mountain Hale-a-ka-l? (house of the sun) and lassos the sun’s rays as the sun comes up, using a rope made from his sister’s hair. The sun pleads for life and agrees that the days shall be long in summer and short in winter. I needed a little background on this great mural and the supporting cast of Logan and Kale Spencer.

Thank you Spencer Family for a wonderful visit.  We hope we can have a warm and long lasting friendship.

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