As we get ready to ring in another year for ManoaDNA, I wanted to take a moment to remember some of the highlights from 2011! And while there were countless numbers of great memories throughout the year, these are my top five…
5. Weekly Shows at Lulus & Kani Ka Pila
I know it may not seem special since we do these two shows every week, but Lulus & Kani Ka Pila are still our homes. It gives our fans a chance to come and visit us, and helps us keeps our chops up. From the Japan fans taking pictures with us to our family supporting us each and every week, both of these venues will always be a part of us.
4. Alumni Lu’au
This year, I celebrated my 10-year high school reunion from Punahou, and ManoaDNA was asked to be the featured performer. In front of all my classmates, and hundreds of other alumni, we performed our music and it ended up being one of the best highlights of 2011.
3. Our 3rd Annual Toy Drive
Even though Mother Nature had it out for us again, we still put on a very successful and charitable toy drive this year down at Gordon Biersch! Raising well over $5,000 in toy donations that night and almost $1,200 in raffle donations, we beat our goals and look forward to the fourth annual drive next year!
2. Final HTJ Tour
2011 also marked our final year working as the touring group for Hawaii Tourism Japan. Working with them for the past 4 years has been the most rewarding thing that we have ever done. It has taught us to be professional, hard-working, and (most importantly) spreading Aloha wherever we go. Thank you to Ichikura-san and his staff, we will miss you dearly.
1. Kokua For Japan/Aloha For Japan/Project Aloha/Rainbow for Japan Kids/Aloha Heaven/Feel The Light
Of course worldwide, 2011 will be remembered for the tragedy that struck Japan. But for me, I will always remember the experiences we had in supporting the relief efforts. From our first goodwill tour with HTJ, to the last one with Project Aloha, we met and experienced so many different things that it will be my top memory from 2011. We hope to keep supporting those who supported us, and look forward to continuing the goodwill through 2012.
Happy New Year Everyone! Like I said, it was tough for me to pick five favorites, since we had so many wonderful experiences with so many great people. It was support from people like you who made our 2011, and we hope that you continue to support ManoaDNA through 2012 and beyond!
From the bottom of my hear, happy new year everyone. Be peaceful, be with the ones you love, and share your Aloha.