By Rich Figel
Sorry for the short notice, but I've been busy wrapping the new May episode of Career Changers TV, which premieres Thurs. night at 9:30 pm on OC16 (approximate time since it's following high school softball).
In any event, here's the scoop on the Hina Mauka Luau on Sat., May 5 from 4 to 8 pm:
Onolicious kau kau at the Lu'au for friends, families and alumni. Under the stars at Hina Mauka we'll have Hawaiian food, hula and live music by Mount Keala. Tickets are $25, and can be bought at Hina Mauka from Evon 384-3873, Helen L. 447-5270, Helen S.U. 447-5258, or with a mail-in form (click here). Proceeds will benefit Hina Mauka's Kokua Fund, which helps needy clients with treatment related costs.
As many of you know, I'm a grateful recovering alcoholic. Although I did my rehab at Castle Medical Center (which no longer has a recovery unit) I am proud to be considered a Hina Mauka alumni and have done PR work for them in the past. It's safe to say that had it not been for rehab, I probably would not be as happy or successful as I am today. In fact, I'd probably be in prison or dead.
Unfortunately, when the economy cratered after eight years of reckless cut-taxes-and-spend policies, social services -- including addiction treatment centers -- took a huge hit. Government support and grants were slashed across the board at a time when more people were turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with depression and job losses. Yet people in the recovery business didn't do a lot of public complaining. They just continued doing the best they could with less resources and money. And what they do is save lives... like mine.
If you can't make it to the Hina Mauka Luau this weekend, please consider visiting their website and making a donation. I can vouch for the effectiveness of their program, and tell you firsthand that most alcoholics and addicts aren't bad people at heart... they made bad choices, and many can lead productive lives if given a second chance. I'm living proof of that.
Here's the link to their site. Please give what you can -- or better yet, go to their luau!