Lahaina children treated to very memorable performance
Pat and Richard Endsley have done it again. The altruistic educators that founded the avant-garde Lahaina Complex After School Tutoring program some 15 years ago – and today continue the mission to raise the reading and math skills of the community’s children – treated 38 of the kids in the classes to a special reward of a day trip recently to enjoy an original musical play entitled “Peace On Your Wings.”
What a delightful adventure it was! The trip started with mouth-watering, homemade Spam musubi and juice, followed by the scenic bus ride Upcountry to the immaculate campus of Kamehameha Schools Maui, experiencing the breathtaking Pukalani panorama across the Maui plain, and then enjoying the heartwarming original musical put forth by the Ohana Arts Performing Arts & School with a cast of youngsters ranging in age from six to 16 years old.
The storyline of the play follows the tragic yet sentimental life of a young girl in Hiroshima, Japan, who is sickened by the fallout of the atomic bomb.
An athletic, happy youngster, Sadako Sasaki was diagnosed with leukemia, or the “A-bomb disease” as it was referred to at the time, but refused to relent her optimistic personality. She embraced the Japanese legend that says that anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes is granted one wish. The wish can be for such things as long life, eternal good luck, or recovery from illness or injury.
Sadako folded 1,000 cranes and hung them from the walls of her hospital room, then started folding more until she succumbed to the disease.
Throughout her life, Sadako manifested a tireless effort to help others with her eternal optimism. She was the popular, athletic one at her middle school who bonded the kids together; and at the hospital, she was the friend and playmate they all needed.
Her death left a void at the school and at the hospital, but Sadako’s friends, inspired by her loving personality, paid forward her spirit by folding cranes to raise money to honor her.
A monument was built to commemorate Sadako Sasaki as an international symbol of peace, love and hope for a better world.
The play itself was beautifully performed by the young cast and most definitely left a lasting impression on the packed audience in the campus theater – particularly on the children from the West Side. These are the inspirational and learning experiences our younger generations will form their most important social standards from.
We salute the producers and directors of the play – Jenny Taira, Laurie Rubin and Cari Lee – for a most admirable effort to sustain the message of hope for a better world.
And, most importantly here, we send our heartfelt gratitude to Pat and Richard Endsley for their tireless effort and optimism to help make the world a better place by opening up the hearts and minds of our children. The Lahaina tutoring program and such dynamic special events as this field trip to experience “Peace On Your Wings” are the truest definition of malama pono – to nurture in a motherly way that which is good and righteous.
We thank you and wish you peace on your wings.