Monday, May 18, 2009

Drunk Driving Event A Success; See Video and News Article; Donations Still Being Collected

Photo: Koa Paka Kamaki Miles (9/30/2004-5/15/2008). Click on the image for a full-sized view.

The May 15, 2009 Drunk driving & pedestrian safety awareness event in honor of Koa Paka Kamaki Miles was a big success.
`Olelo (Channel 52) airdates for the event are as follows:
6/8/09 Mon 4:30 pm
6/10/09 Wed 4:30 pm
6/15/09 Mon 11:30 pm
6/17/09 Wed 11:30 pm
6/22/09 Mon 4:30 pm
Mahalo nui loa to all event sponsors and volunteers, including, Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, the Ho`ohuli Ohana, MADD, AARP, HPD, Ohana Party Rentals, Women of Waianae, Punana Leo o Waianae, the Miles Ohana, Carol Bonham, Kermit Brown Jr., `Olelo, City & County of Honolulu, the Dodge/Young/Shimabukuro Ohana, Rep. Maile Shimabukuro, AlohaCare, & Pastor Boo Soares.
Tax-deductible donations are still being collected to build a playground in Koa Paka's memory, and may be sent to: Komike Makua Punana Leo o Wai`anae, 89-135 Farrington Hwy. #40, Waianae, HI 96792.
The Star-Bulletin published this article about the event on 5/16/09:
Family's rally warns against drunken driving
By Mary Adamski
A Waianae family marked the anniversary of a beloved child's death yesterday with a sign-waving memorial warning motorists not to drink and drive.Family, friends and community organizations joined Samuel "Kamu" and Erica Miles at the scene of the traffic accident in Nanakuli where their 3-year-old son, Koa Paka, died on May 15, 2008.
The young parents, carrying a koa urn with the child's ashes, led about 50 people on a 1-mile walk along a beach trail from Nani Kai Beach to the scene. Koa Paka's sisters, Ka'ohulani, 2, and Kaimi, 3 months, came along in the arms of family members.
"We want to make the statement that drunk driving is not allowed in our neighborhood because of what it does to us," said Kamu Miles, a federal contractor.
"The speedway ends at the cemetery," said a banner carried by friends wearing T-shirts dedicated to Koa Paka inscribed "poina ole ia" -- never forgotten.
Miles was driving toward Waianae with his son and three other people when his car was pushed off the road into a parked vehicle by a speeding pickup truck. The truck driver was also killed in the crash.
"He flew out of the car, still in his car seat," said Koa Paka's grandmother Malia Miles. "He looked at his daddy and smiled. And then he slept.
"It took a big part out of us," she said. Her husband, Austin, died two days before the child's death. "It helps with the healing to do something. I believe we are making a dent out there against drunk driving."
The grandmother said, "I was so angry, I literally chased speeders. I drove my car to block two lanes on my street to stop speeders. Slowly I got rid of the anger. Now I'm on a journey against drunk driving."
State Rep. Maile Shimabukuro (D, Waianae-Makua) said Mothers Against Drunk Driving, AARP, the Police Department and Leeward Coast community groups joined forces when they heard about the father's idea for the memorial.
The program began with children from Punana Leo o Waianae, a Hawaiian immersion preschool that Koa Paka was going to attend, joined in a chant for enlightenment and a hymn. The memorial ended back at Nani Kai Beach with a sunset candle-lighting service and storytelling about the short life of a rascally boy.
Kamu Miles said, "I share stories about my son -- that helps me. It soothes my soul."
See the online version of the article by clicking here:
or call 696-4677

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