Sunday | November 19, 2017
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Brick Garden Blessing

<p>Kupuna dance hula at the Kapilina Brick Garden Blessing Tuesday at the West Hawaii Civic Center. Laura Shimabuku/Special to West Hawaii Today</p><p>Engraved bricks from West Hawaii Families and businesses are seen at the blessing of the Kapilina Brick Garden Tuesday afternoon. Laura Shimabuku/Special to West Hawaii Today</p><p>Vicki Kalman takes a photo of her engraved brick at the Kapilina Brick Garden Blessing Tuesday at the West Hawaii Civic Center.

A new feature exemplifying the community’s solidarity was dedicated during a special ceremony Thursday afternoon at the West Hawaii Civic Center.

The Kapilina Brick Garden is a mosaic of 1,526 bricks in three sizes and five colors. Among the hundreds of bricks, 412 are laser engraved, each commemorating community leaders, residents, businesses, schools, nonprofits, groups and even pets. The notable dedications include bricks for the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday, and Shizuko “Mary” Teshima, as well as the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The engraved bricks also support the work of seven area organizations helping build a healthy, strong community.

Hawaii Island Growing Our Own Teachers, or HI-GOOT, and its board of directors are leading the project, with ongoing support from Rotarians and the county. The garden’s complex design was created by Cliff Kopp, a project coordinator and Kona Rotarian. In the center is dryland taro, planted last Sunday by Na Wai Iwi Ola co-founder Keala Ching and kupuna. Its name means “the relationship” in Hawaiian.

Proceeds from the brick sales benefited HI-GOOT, The Food Basket, The Island of Hawaii YMCA, FRIENDS of the Children’s Justice Center, the Hawaii Island Humane Society, West Hawaii Community Health Center and HOPE Services Hawaii. The project’s first phase generated $90,050 in donations, of which $52,050 will go to the nonprofits. The remaining $38,000 was used to purchase, engrave and ship the bricks.

Those interested in having a brick engraved can still do so. There are 200 bricks available and sales for the second phase continue through Dec. 31.

Order forms are available at the mayor’s office at the West Hawaii Civic Center and online at

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