[Pacific Lutheran Scene]
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Hawaii Club Luau legacy begins

B Y   K A T H L E E N   ( B U R K )   N O R T H   ' 8 6

Hawaiian cowboys Mason Moriguchi '01, Alex Miyamoto '01 and David Chew '01 dance to "Rough Riders" during the entertainment portion of the PLU Hawaii Club Luau, held on campus last April.

PLU history was made on April 24, 1998, when the Hawaii Club hosted its first campus luau. By boldly billing the event as the First Annual PLU Hawaii Club Luau, these energetic students made clear their intention of beginning a PLU legacy.
      Their achievement was remarkable.
      As 230 guests - many in aloha shirts - arrived in the hallway outside Chris Knutzen Hall, the scent of plumeria gave hint of the evening to come. Once inside the hall, guests were fully transported from Parkland to paradise, thanks in large part to the 1,300 pounds of native Hawaiian flowers (donated by PLU parents) flown in from the islands for the event!
      Guests had even more reason to feel tropical as they sat for the traditional luau meal – featuring everything from poi to lomi lomi salmon to Kalua pig – catered by Keoni's Restaurant of Shelton, Wash. And throughout the evening, the masters of ceremony raffled off an abundance of items donated by generous PLU parents and Hawaiian businesses.
      Student-emcees Janelle Hanson '00 and Dustin Nakatsu '00 warmly welcomed the guests and provided excellent explanations of the significance of the traditional food and dance. Hawaiian and Tahitian music and dance were provided by the talented Halau Hula o Ke Liko a'e o Le Lehua of Seattle.
      The highlight of the evening was the dancing of PLU's own students, Hula Halau O PLU. Dressed in flowing mu'umu'us, the wahine (women) were mesmerizing in their performance of "Kawaipunahele." Following a costume change to short dresses, they danced to the love song "Papalina Lahilahi."
      The kane (men) were greeted with loud whoops, which quickly subsided into enthusiastic and respectful applause as they danced to "Kawika." Later they returned to the stage wearing matching cowboy hats to dance to "Rough Riders."
      The students' nearly flawless dancing was particularly remarkable because they only had two months to practice. For upperclassmen who hadn't danced the hula in several years, this was a challenge. Even more exceptional were the few Hawaii students with no hula experience who learned just for this occasion!
      The PLU Hawaii Club can be very proud of its first annual luau. The students shared their culture with tremendous aloha spirit. Every guest left with a bouquet of tropical flowers and great memories. It was a fabulous evening.


See the next issue of Scene (Winter 1999) for information about the next luau.

1998 Planning Committee student members: Brandon Shimizu '98 (chair), Alana Dellatan '99 (entertainment), Derek Kuniyoshi '00 (food), Lawson Kita '00 (publicity) and Janelle Hanson '00 (decorations). Lisa Dean-Erlander '90, '96 (PLU Admissions) provided staff support.

1998 Hula Halau O PLU dancers: Erin Azama '00, Heidi Boehnke '00, David Chew '01, Leilani Fornandoe (relative of PLU staff), Maureen Francisco '99, Anneke Geballe '99, Janlyn Hamada '00, Andrew Hart '98, Devan Inouye '01, Roxanne Kala '01, Derek Kuniyoski '00, Wanda Louie '99, Melanie Melendrez '01, Alex Miyamoto '01, Mason Moriguchi '01, Kelly Panem '01 and Shaun Takenouchi '01.

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