(KAILUA-KONA, HI, APRIL 1, 2015)—HOPE Services Hawaii joined residents of Na Kahua Hale O Ulu Wini (The Homes at Ulu Wini) to inaugurate the new outdoor playground at the Ulu Wini housing complex in Kailua-Kona on March 23.
The $180,000 state-of-the-art Miracle Mega Tower was made possible through a contribution from the Roberts Foundation and is a first not only for Ulu Wini, but also the first, and only, play structure of its kind in Hawaii.
“This is a valuable recreation area for Ulu Wini residents and keiki,” said Brandee Menino, Chief Executive Officer of HOPE Services Hawaii. “We are so thankful to the Roberts Foundation; the playground provides an opportunity for families to socialize and children to exercise outdoors in beautiful Kailua-Kona.”
Ulu Wini keiki hosted the grand opening; Kahu Brian Broshard led the blessing and maile lei cutting ceremony. Councilmembers Maile David, Karen Eoff and Dru Kanuha, as well as Susan Akiyama from the Office of Housing and Community Development, were present on behalf of the County of Hawaii administration.
Following the ceremony, Ulu Wini keiki performed hula, hip-hop and Tahitian routines as well as a poetry reading in gratitude to the Roberts Foundation.
“I am gratified that the children of Ulu Wini have a safe and beautiful space to play,” said Dru Kanuha, Hawaii County Council Chair. “Through the generosity of the Roberts Foundation and the hard work and coordination by HOPE Services Hawaii, there will be a playground for keiki and families to enjoy for years to come.”
The 62-foot by 52-foot Mega Tower features four brightly-colored play structures including a heptagon double decker tower and water fountain, spiral and wave slides, a fish bridge, play panels and climbing apparatus including stairs, risers, ladders and a fossil bluff climbing wall. The play structures, with the exception of the water fountain, are covered with recycled steel roofing or commercial grade fabric umbrellas.
Last month, NyLawn began construction of the Mega Tower playground with assistance from Ulu Wini residents; volunteers from Lake Mead Christian Academy helped prep the turf area.
The Homes at Ulu Wini, built in 2011 by the County of Hawaii’s Office of Housing & Community Development and operated by HOPE Services, provides 96 two-bedroom units—24 transitional housing for homeless families, 71 affordable housing dedicated to low-income families and one unit for the resident manager.
About HOPE Services Hawaii
HOPE Services Hawaii is a statewide non-profit organization that is dedicated to ending homelessness and transitioning people off the streets. HOPE Services provides innovative outreach programs and services to Hawaii’s homeless population including emergency and transitional housing, mental health outreach, SNAP assistance, prison re-entry services and the Care-A-Van program. To learn more, visit www.hopeserviceshawaii.org.
Media Note: Playground and grand opening ceremony photos can be accessed via Google Drive by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1F1lsGj.
Ashley L. Kierkiewicz
Hastings & Pleadwell