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Keiki come out in droves for fishing tournament

By Staff | Oct 22, 2009

The first tilapia was caught by Brayden Reys-Sojot in the age 6-11 Division.

KAANAPALI — Kaanapali Golf Resort recently hosted the first annual Keiki Fishing Tournament sponsored by Maui Electric, benefiting the Maui United Way Maui. 

With 309 keiki coming out to fish, the event drew more than 600 total people from all over the islands and visitors. 

For two hours, the 309 keiki patrolled the waterway along the 18th hole on the Royal Kaanapali Course catching and releasing the fish. 

There were three age groups that competed for the “smallest” and “largest” fish: ages five and under, ages 6-11, and ages 12-15. 

With tents pitched and shorelines staked out long before the horn blew at 9 a.m., families were ready for the big fish competition. 

Maui Electric President Ed Reinhardt welcomed the group with warm aloha and sounded the horn to start the event.

Shelley Espeleta, employee relations administrator for Maui Electric, commented on the day: “Maui Electric believes in the efforts of United Way, and we are always looking for creative ways to raise money for organizations in need.” 

She added, “Our committee worked together to bring back an event — Harry Kojima and Ray Demello hosted at Kaanapali — that many of us participated in as kids when we were young, and are now able to share with our own keiki. This was a great way for the entire community to get involved, and the entire staff at Maui Electric was proud to be able to give back to the community in this special way.”

Ed Kageyama, PGA general manager of Kaanapali Golf Resort, stated, “We’re glad that we can be a part of an event that brings the community together and creates lasting fun memories for families.

“It’s even more special to be able to say that the Maui community raised funds for United Way Maui and worked together to bring back a great event here in the resort.”

Brody Long, father of Landon Long (five and under category), commented, “This is awesome! My son has been talking about this all week and was so excited to come out today.

“We went digging for worms last night, which he thought was pretty cool. This is something he will remember for years to come.”

The winners were:

Age 5 and Under, Smallest Fish Award — Ava Takahama, Marley Seacat;

Age 5 and Under, Largest Fish Award — Shawn-Lee Dukes-Malacas (12.2 ounces), Kekoa Ah-Sam (12.1 ounces);

Ages 6-11, Smallest Fish Award — Zecchaeus Gumtang, Noelani Keahi;

Ages 6-11, Largest Fish Award — Dylan Kokuban (18.9 ounces), Kawaena Takeo (18.9 ounces), Kiara Espeleta (15.5 ounces).

Ages 12-15, Smallest Fish Award — Dallas Nakoa-Kaauamo, Dayton Kaneshiro;

Ages 12-15, Largest Fish Award — Amber Motooka (17.0 ounces), Brysen Duarte (15.3 ounces), Brysen Kokubun (12.0 ounces).

For more information, visit www.kaanapaligolfresort.com  or call 661-3691.