IPA Students Lend a Hand at PACAF Mahalo Bash 2022

At ISLAND PACIFIC ACADEMY, community counts. As part of IPA’s culture of giving back to the community, on October 6, 2022, IPA students in Grades 7-11 volunteered with the Pacific Air Forces Civilian Council (AFCAC) at the PACAF Mahalo Bash at Bellows AFB. The Mahalo Bash is an annual event hosted by the Pacific Air Force commander to thank Hawaiʻi Air Force officers, enlisted, and personnel and their families for their service and hard work throughout the year. Everyone was treated to a day of live music, fun, and food at beautiful Bellows beach.

“Knowing that this would be a worthwhile and relevant opportunity for our students to fulfill CAS hours as well as support our community, we volunteered to help with this event,” shared Gerald Teramae, Head of School.

Thirteen IPA students, with Ruby Fernandez (Student Activities Coordinator) and Greg Terhnune (Director of Athletics), traveled to Bellows AFB and helped with the day’s events by handing out drinks, supervising children in the bounce houses, and filling and distributing goodie bags with various giveaways from local companies, including picnic blankets from IPA, for 800 Air Force families.

“We showed the community some of our 5 Agreements that day. We displayed aloha because we were respecting these families and helping to honor their service; mālama because we always cleaned up our space and we were taking care of these kids, who have enough struggles; and ho’olohe because we had to follow directions and do what they told us so we didn’t mess anything up during our assembly line making several hundred goodie bags,” shared Caitlyn Bedford ‘26. “And I feel really happy that I was a part of it and I’m glad that I helped make a lot of those kids happier and to have made that day more special for them.”

“I think the main IPA value that was reflected was, ‘Whenever you can, help!’” shared Leianna Babas ‘26. “All of us were working for the full time we were there. We were always there if anyone needed anything. Everyone that attended looked like they were having a great time. Which was a part of our mission as volunteers – to make their day enjoyable.”

“The event was a rare opportunity for a lot of these kids to have a day where they can have fun and feel like a part of a community – these kids are constantly being moved around, so they don’t get to have that same sense of community others do. On top of that, they’ve usually got a parent away for a long time. It’s just difficult for them. To be able to help give them this kind of experience was something I can say that we were all pretty glad about. It was important, and we were able to help,” explained Kamiya Luchetti ‘26.

“One of our school mottos is ‘whenever you can, help.’ I think our experience reflected this pretty well. I know a lot of people who went didn’t even need service hours or anything, it was really just something we wanted to do for them. We saw these people taking the time to do something kind for these families, and we had an opportunity to help them do so,” said Luchetti.

IPA is grateful for the opportunity to give back to our armed forces. Mahalo, Navigators!