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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, November 12, 2002

'Give Aloha' to fill the air waves tomorrow

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Hawai'i composer Jesse Rivera's inspirational song, "Give Aloha," will be seen and heard statewide at 6:45 a.m. tomorrow when 15 local TV stations and 65 radio stations show and play the tune.

The simulcast coincides with Synergy Hawai'i Day, organized by Rivera, a firefighter who moonlights as a singer-composer, to motivate Hawai'i people to share and promote the aloha spirit.

"I know firsthand the powerful effect music has on people," said Rivera in a prepared statement. He is in the Philippines on a singing mission and is due home today in time for the Synergy Hawai'i Day launch. "One day, a woman came up to me and said, 'Because of one of your songs, my neighbor decided not to kill herself.'

I am hoping that 'Give Aloha,' a feel-good song that promotes the aloha spirit, will encourage citizens to help each other for at least a day."

"Taking part in making the video was one of the most uplifting experiences of my life,"said Kymberly Pine, co-chairwoman of Synergy Hawai'i Day. At a September Sunset on the Beach event in Waikiki, 10,000 Islanders, including several entertainers, gathered for the making and taping of the video.

Limited numbers of the CD recording of the tune are available through Prevent Child Abuse Hawai'i, a beneficiary of the "Give Aloha" project. Event organizers recommend Hawai'i residents to record the video or radio version from home, because there are no plans to sell the video version.

Rivera composed the tune, with kokua from David "Kawika" Kahiapo, Kelly "Boy" DeLima and Kawika Crowley, to celebrate the island spirit well before the tragedies of 9/11. Since then, the tune has become an anthem of unity and mutual support.

He got the notion, a couple of years ago, to do a tune after hearing "Chain of Love," a country song by Clay Walker, which encouages people to help each other. "I thought what we need here is a day of synergy," said Rivera.

When the video was taped, more than 100 singers and dancers participated, including Auntie Genoa Keawe, Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom, Melveen Leed and Jeff Rasmussen. A copy of the video also was sent to New York Gov. George Pataki as a gesture of aloha from the residents of Hawai'i on the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

The effort has the support of broadcasters.

Mike Rosenberg, president and general manager of KITV-4, said he hopes the people of Hawai'i "will watch the video and treat each other a little better. If that happens, we've done our job."

"Uniting all radio and TV stations in the state ... exemplifies the aloha spirit and everything Hawaiian," said Chuck Cotton, general manager for Clear Channel, parent company of radio stations KSSK-AM, KSSK-FM, Star 101.9-FM, Island Rhythm 98.5-FM, KHVH-AM and KHBZ-AM.