by Ken Johnson (Kuba Rosei Kai)

The front of the Radford High School gymnasium is sporting a fresh coat of white paint, and the portable classroom the coaches use as a meeting room is looking bright and cheery, thanks to HUOA’s Mixed Volleyball League.

On April 22, league members, who play their games at the Radford gym, came prepared to use their muscles not only to play volleyball, but also to paint the front of the gym and the coaches’ meeting room. Using materials donated by Young Brothers, Ltd. and Max Shinkawa of Ginowan Shijin Kai, about 50 volunteers spent time painting before or after their games. Some players painted both before and after their games. The work started at 8:30 a.m. and wrapped up at 3 p.m.

This kind of community service isn’t new to the league, which has been playing its games at the Radford gym for the last few years. Two years ago the league’s Board of Directors began talking about doing some type of community service project to give back to the school. The players recalled television news stories about the deteriorating state of the Wrestling Training Room. So, the players and their family members and friends pitched in and painted the room.

Response to the effort was overwhelming. School officials were very appreciative, and for the volunteers, it was as much fun as it was work. Channel 2 News came out to shoot video of us working for their “shaka” segment at the end of the newscast. State Sen. Norman Sakamoto, who represents the Aliamanu area, came out to thank us and to talk story. It was one of those things that when finished you could look at and feel good about.

When this year’s season rolled around in January, the league addressed the prospect of doing another community service project for the school. In discussions with Radford High School athletic director Eddie Maruyama, he mentioned two projects that he thought the league could take on: We could either paint the front of the gymnasium that sported multiple shades of white paint from years of repainting only sections at a time, or we could paint the portable building that the Radford coaches use as a meeting room. Even though Mr. Maruyama asked us to do one or the other, the league decided to do both.

“I really appreciate the job they have done for us this year and in the past. The painting looked like it was done by professionals, not just a volleyball crew,” he said.

Ippei nihei deebiru to everyone who masked, painted, cleaned up — and laughed. You all made light and fun work of a big project.