Kristi Yamaguchi’s Golden Moment

KYGM001
Brian Boitano and Kristi Yamaguchi

This past Friday, November 20, and Saturday, November 21st, the people of Hawaii got to experience a once in a lifetime event – watching Olympic ice skaters perform at the Blaisdell Arena in an event titled Kristi Yamaguchi’s Golden Moment.

Kristi Yamaguchi and her co-host Brian Boitano introduced a star-studded cast of both figure skaters and local musicians, and in between performances, they shared about Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation and how it is helping Hawaii’s elementary schools promote early childhood literacy.  Throughout the show, there were musical performances by Na Leo Pilimehana and Manoa DNA, some of their songs accompanied the skaters as they did their routines.

The show featured amazing performances by American skaters Jeremy Abbott and the Olympic Gold pair, Meryl Davis and Charlie White.  Canadian skater Kurt Browning also made an appearance and showed off his immaculate footwork in his high-energy performances.  Russian figure skater Katia Gordeeva also made an appearance, and of course, Kristi and Brian also got their time on the ice.

Top figure skaters from Japan (Shizuka Arakawa, Miki Ando, Yuka Sato, and Takeshi Honda) also performed and wowed the crowd of locals and Japanese tourists.

KYGM002
Kristi Yamaguchi skating with her daughter.
KYGM003
Brian Boitano, Jeremy Abbott, and Kurt Browning

 

It wouldn’t be a Golden Moment without special routines.  Brian Boitano, Kurt Browning, and Jeremy Abbott entertained the crowd with a comical performance.  Kristi Yamaguchi skated to a number with one of her daughters, also an aspiring figure skater.  Katia Gordeeva also performed with her own daughter, who also skates professionally.  Shizuka Arakawa, who gave birth just last year, did a beautiful performance as Na Leo Pilimehana sang “You Don’t Remember” live.  During the middle of the song, she brought out her daughter and skated around the rink as she carried her.

The final performance was a never-before-seen, once-in-a-lifetime routine with Kristi, Shizuka, Yuka, and Miki all skating together in a beautiful, heartfelt routine as Na Leo Pilimehana sang “I Miss You My Hawaii.”

All in all, it was an amazing show with a great cause.  Even better, all the proceeds earned from the shows will stay in Hawaii to go towards the Title I schools.  This was a great event for Hawaii to have, and hopefully Kristi and her friends will come back for another great show!

Advertisements

Making the Most of Your Holiday Budget

Holiday money in a jarThe holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate with your loved ones. But unless you manage your festivities and gift-giving carefully, it’s easy to fall victim to the temptation to overspend on presents and cheer. The best way to avoid overindulgence is by doing a little planning so you know how much you have to spend.

Here are some tips:

Set a realistic budget
Keep your overall financial picture in mind when you set your holiday budget. Set a dollar limit for how much you want to spend in total, not only on gifts, but also other categories of expenses such as holiday travel, entertainment, food and drink, and even decorations and wrapping paper.

Add up all the categories, and, if the total is too high, you can tweak your numbers or cut back in areas that are less important to you. For example, you might forgo restaurant meals for a certain time to afford those expensive Star Wars toys. By making choices, you won’t find yourself ringing in the New Year with a new pile of credit card debt.

October is generally the month when Christmas Club account holders can begin to take penalty-free withdrawals in preparation for holiday shopping. These dedicated short-term savings accounts are a tradition that became popular during the Great Depression, and they are a great way to sock a little away each month throughout the year. Credit unions like Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union offer free Christmas Savings share accounts that pay the same dividends as regular share accounts.

Try a holiday budgeting app
Use your smartphone to manage your holiday shopping list and keep tabs on your budget. Popular free apps like Santa’s Bag for iPhone, and Christmas Gift List for Android are highly rated by app store users. They provide a handy way to create a gift budget for each person on your list and check off presents as you buy them. They also create an archived record that you’ll be able to refer to next year.

 

Research prices online
Instead of trudging through the mall or driving to many brick-and-mortar stores, save gas money by shopping online for the gifts you plan to buy. Check for discount codes on savings websites like RetailMeNot and Coupons.com. You can often find significant savings on toys, clothing and even holiday food items for parties. For online orders, allow plenty of time for delivery. In previous years, many websites were overburdened with holiday orders, and some deliveries were delayed until after Christmas.

Don’t pay for postage
With the cost of first-class package delivery up over 5% in 2015, sending gifts to friends and family can be more costly than ever. One way around this expense is to take advantage of online shopping websites that offer free shipping. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you’re also eligible for free shipping.

So if your nephew is dying to get that Munchkin board game for Christmas, make your purchase online and send it to him directly, instead of buying it at the local toy store, gift-wrapping it at home and mailing it at the post office.

For smarter spending around the holidays, refer to your budget often as you make your way through your gift list. If you do splurge on one present, find another area where you can cut back to stay on track. Then you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays without worry.

Jeanne Lee, NerdWallet
© Copyright 2015 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Veterans Day

Every year, on November 11, the American people honor all those who served in the military, past, present, and future.  Veterans Day is a national holiday that was originally created during the end of World War I when an armistice took effect between the Allies and Germany on November 11.  From that day on, November 11 was known as Armistice Day–a day to remember veterans from World War I.

It was during World War II that the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor vets of all wars.

Veterans Day is celebrated every year, and here in Hawaii, we have our own way of celebrating those who serve.  The Wahiawa Veterans Day Parade is a huge event that attracts hundreds of spectators.
2015 Veterans Day Parade 2015 Veterans Day Parade

This year’s parade featured many different groups, including local veterans who served in WWII,  Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East.

IMG_3002EDITIMG_3012EDIT

Multiple bands came out to perform, including the Royal Hawaiian band and Schofield Barracks’ very own 25th Infantry Division Tropic Lightning Band.  They filled the streets with uplifting, patriotic music that left us all with a sense of pride and motivation.

IMG_3052EDITIMG_3032EDIT

IMG_3026EDITIMG_3043EDIT

Schools from all over the state also showed their support through their marching bands, JROTCs, and other school associations.

IMG_3051EDITIMG_3045EDIT

IMG_3041EDITIMG_3005EDIT

Even the girl scouts and boy scouts were seen proudly marching in the parade as well as many other different groups.

All in all, the parade was a great way to show appreciation for all of our men and women in uniform.  It was very humbling to see people from all over the state come together to show support.

For those of you in service, past and present, Happy Veterans Day and thank you for all that you do!