RP ready for another Pacific Island Festival
Event raises cash for RP Warriors
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By Kaydon Coburn  July 26, 2013 12:00 am

The Pacific Islands come to the Rohnert Park City Center Plaza when the Rohnert Park Warriors Youth Football & Cheer Organization host the third annual Pacific Islander fundraising event Saturday, July 27, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

“This fundraiser helps us to keep costs down and to offer scholarships for families who are unable to afford the registration costs, but want their child to participate,” says Raquel Kilmartin, Fundraising Director.

Food, music, hula, entertainment, activities, various raffles, silent auctions, merchandise and “kids activities” will be offered for public enjoyment.

Special guests and entertainers are former San Francisco 49er, four-time Super Bowl winner and Pro-Bowl player Jesse Sapolu, local award winning Hawaiian music artist Faith Ako, Taimalietane Islands of Polynesia and the First Samoan Congregational Christian Church Youth Group dance group are to perform.

Authentic cuisine will feature a sampling of Samoan, Fijian, Hawaiian, Filipino, Tongan and Polynesian Roast Chicken. Other edible treats include Hawaiian shaved ice, kettle corn, frozen yogurt, Island smoothies, cotton candy, and Polynesian desserts. Additional  vendors are Sol Azteca, Camacho's Up in Smoke BBQ, Grandma's Kitchen, Aloha Grindz, Mama Nita's Filipino Hut and Russotti's Hot Dogs.

Island crafts, jewelry and art will also be displayed by a variety of vendors.

The Rohnert Park Warriors are a nonprofit youth sports organization with participants ranging in age from 5-15 years. Founded in 2007, their mission is to develop and promote the ideals of responsibility, hard work, sportsmanship, respect, teamwork and commitment in all children while participating in a safe, encouraging and positive sports environment.

Kilmartin and president, Tracey Poueu-Guerrero “had a vision” to host a Pacific Islander Festival. “Our president is Samoan and has many family members in Sonoma County. There is an unknown large Polynesian/Pacific Islander community in Sonoma County,” Kilmartin explained.

In previous years, the organization hosted a luau as a major fundraiser. Parents were required to sell tickets to the event, according to Kilmartin.

“I know parents usually end up purchasing the tickets themselves,” Kilmartin revealed. “I felt this would be a great opportunity to take the responsibility of selling tickets away from the parents and open up this cultural experience to the community. I also had in mind financial burdens on people who might have lost their job during this economy.”

“We hope this event brings time-honored Polynesian traditions – in music, dance, arts, crafts and food – directly from the soul of the South Pacific to the hearts of the people of Sonoma County,” Kilmartin said.

Admission is free. For more information, go to www.rpwarriors.org.

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