Kauai hopes to save a dream
By DENNIS FUJIMOTO
The Garden Island
LIHU'E, Kaua'i — Kaua'i firefighters are selling calendars to keep a dream alive.
The dream they are fighting for is the Shattered Dreams program that has played out four times on Kaua'i and offers a realistic rendering of the consequences of young people drinking and driving.
Theresa Koki, of the county anti-drug office, said there has not been a Shattered Dreams presentation in two years because money for the program was eliminated.
"The program was funded through the Department of Transportation, and the funds are now gone," she said.
Started through the Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition, the Shattered Dreams program served as a model for other islands as it played out at the three Kaua'i public high schools. The program received visits from other islands' high school counselors and community leaders who wanted it on their respective islands.
"Now that there's no funds for this program, we are trying to raise funds to have our own Shattered Dreams program," Koki said. "The calendars, featuring Kaua'i firefighters and water safety officers, will hopefully keep this program going."
Kaua'i fire Capt. Steven Doi said there are 24 firefighters and water safety officers in the calendar.
Of those, a dozen gathered Saturday to autograph calendars and chat with shoppers.
"This Shattered Dreams program is really good," Doi said. "This is the only reason the firefighters agreed to be featured in the calendar. The effort is voluntary on the part of the firefighters and Stan Koga, who did the photographs."
Shattered Dreams is a school-based alcohol prevention program that aims to raise awareness of the consequences of underage drinking through dramatization, states a county press release announcing the sale of the calendars.
"Sales from the calendars will hopefully enable us to bring the Shattered Dreams program back to our high schools," Koki said. "It is a very powerful program which impacts everyone who participates in it."
Proceeds from the sales of the calendar will be earmarked for the training of the staff and volunteers of the underage drinking prevention program on Kaua'i.
"We are grateful that our emergency responders and other organizations have come together to help address the worsening problem of underage drinking on Kaua'i," said Amanda Gregg, a grant project specialist, in the county's release.
Fran Becker, of Na Lei Wili Area Health Education Center, said calendars will be available at Na Lei Wili office, 4442 Hardy St., Room 205, in Líhu'e.
For more information, call Becker at 246-8986.