By Mele Pochereva
February is American Heart Month and, of course, the month when Valentines celebrate their love. From now through Feb. 21, Kapolei Shopping Center – the first retail complex built in the heart of the City of Kapolei – invites you to visit its colorful “HeART of Kapolei” installation on the lawn adjacent to Kapolei Safeway, featuring the creative work of young artists from the Kapolei region.
Youngsters from Ewa Plains Literacy Preschool and Enrichment Academy, Kama‘aina Kids at Kalaeloa and the Ulu A‘e Learning Center have illustrated what they love about Kapolei through visual depictions of the area’s unique features and traditions. The result is a charming collection of eight 4-foot by 4-foot “heartworks” painted by the students and displayed for the community to enjoy. Added “conversation” hearts provide fun messages to share with friends and family, or a Valentine.
“We hope those who visit our HeART of Kapolei outdoor ‘gallery’ will be delighted and inspired by this visual celebration of Kapolei’s many assets and attributes,” said David Marsh, Kapolei Shopping Center’s general manager. “Since opening in 1993, the center has hosted free family-friendly events each year such as the popular Santa Saturday with its free Santa photos and snow day. When the pandemic halted all of our event plans in 2020, we found other ways to serve as ‘the heart of Kapolei’ and support our community and tenants.
“We’ve used our social media platforms to give away hundreds of dollars’ worth of gift cards for restaurants, groceries, and other essentials as well as 30 Thanksgiving turkey dinners; we partnered with community groups to host a holiday food and toy drive; and we sponsored other family-friendly activities and events that could be enjoyed virtually or in a safe and socially distanced manner, like this month’s HeART of Kapolei display. Kapolei Shopping Center is staying very active even while we are ‘socially distanced,’ so please follow us on social media to keep up with everything we plan to offer in 2021 and beyond.