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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 8, 2010

Volunteers converge on Hawaii parks in massive cleanup effort

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Freda Faalavelave, of Kapolei, (left) was among volunteers to clean up at Ke'ehi Lagoon today. Thousands of volunteers cleaned up city and state parks as part of the "Mormon Helping Hands" program.

REBECCA BREYER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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More than 6,500 volunteers cleaned up parks statewide Saturday as part of "Mormon Helping Hands" event.

On O'ahu, volunteers converged on 47 city and state parks, picking up trash, raking leaves and painting.

"This is an opportunity for all of our congregations in Hawai'i to stand shoulder-to-shoulder to concentrate our efforts in one area our parks," said event organizer Scott Whiting. "Church members both old and young will perform a variety of work depending on the needs of the park."

The event kicked off at 9 a.m. and ran through noon.

Mike Yadao, 30, was at Ala Moana Beach Park, picking up trash with his sons, 4-year-old Matthew and 2-year-old Jonathan. He said event is about giving back to the community.

"It's a good opportunity to put our faith into action," he said. "It certainly is an entire community saying we're so grateful for our parks."