Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Sunday, June 17, 2012
|Hilinaʻi, Hoʻomana, and baby Halaʻi|
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The walk started a few hours earlier this year (10:15pm), because we realized walking thru the night yielded cooler temperatures and hopefully meant for more sustained energy till the end. A group of about 20 family members and friends gathered to walk with Tommy from Hau'ula Elementary to Variety School of Hawai'i in Diamond Head. Energy was high, as excitement to start filled the country air. Under Armour donated a limited amount of bright yellow shirts (visible in the dark) for the walkers to wear...Thank you Under Armour! Tommy and a few of the veteran walkers from last year strategized over rest stops, and rest times, to try and cut down the length of the entire walk. Tommy's brother, Bu Heffernan, drove the escort vehicle this year, since I couldn't commit to the entire night-morning duration (because we're expecting:). Bu's truck carried all the survival basics like food, drinks, extra clothes and basic medical supplies.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
We would like to start by saying thank you. Last year with your support we were able to raise enough funds to enroll Hilina’i into Variety School for the entire academic year. The progress she has made during the past year has been tremendous. Without your support this would not have been possible. Thank you for taking the time to help make a difference in our daughter’s life.
To see the progress she has made over the year has been incredible. The one area we can see the most difference is her speech development. In the past her vocabulary was very limited and she would stutter and hit herself in the head out of frustration when she could not communicate her thoughts and feelings to others. Today she is doing much better. With the services she is receiving at Variety she is able to communicate with others and express her thoughts and feelings in complete sentences. Her stuttering is gone and she does not hit herself out of frustration anymore. She is continues to surprise me with her vocabulary during our daily conversations on our way to school.
Her overall experience at Variety School has been great. Hilina’i loves her classmates, enjoys working with the teachers and therapists, and most importantly enjoys going to school everyday. I remember the first day we took her to school for observation. She was very hesitant about entering her new school. She clung to us and would not let go. We thought it would be a long day for all of us. But after only 15 minutes interacting with some of the teachers and therapist in the Physical Therapy room she was laughing and enjoying herself in her new setting. After the observation while we were walking to the car she grabbed my hand and said “daddy I love this school”. That sealed the deal.
We will continue to do whatever is needed to make sure she is able to attend Variety School and receive the services she needs.
Hilina’i continues to be driving force in our lives. Despite the daily challenges that come her way she never complains and continues to be a very loving and caring person. She is truly special, filled with love and compassion for others and is a shining light in our lives.
On Saturday June 18 we will be doing another walk for Hilina’i. The walk will be from Hau’ula Elementary to Variety school. All proceeds will go towards her special needs services and education at Variety. In addition, a donation will be made to help other children.
Hilina’i is our hero, our inspiration and motivation to be the best that we can be.
We would deeply appreciate any help promoting this event or donations. If you have any questions please contact us.
808 271 9060
Donations can be sent to:
Hilinaʻi Heffernan at 45-212 Makahio St. Kaneʻohe HI, 96744
or deposited at American Savings Bank "Friends of Hilinaʻi Heffernan"
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Hilinaʻiʻs walk started at 12:10am at Hauʻula Elementary School on Saturday, June 12. About 20 of our close family and friends gathered to pray for us and send Tommy off with well-wishes. The original plan was for a few family members and close friends to accompany Tommy on his journey to walk 37.5 miles to Variety School. To our surprise, a truckload of Tommyʻs UH athletes showed up minutes before 12 am and were intent on joining him for the trek. The night was long, dark and at times wet with rain. The group forged ahead, determined to get thru the first leg, to Kane'ohe. Along the way, a few family members and friends joined in. People met the group on the side of the road in Kahalu'u to wish them well; while others offered bananas to the walkers. They replenished themselves with water, gatorade,cytomax, bananas, bagels and small bars. I drove the refreshment/first aid car throughout the night. At different points during the second leg of the walk, we offered small sandwiches, fresh oranges wedges, and believe it or not...candy. They seemed to love the cold snickers bars that Carl and his workers brought once they reached town (mile 26). The walkers didn't eat much, but took a little to sustain themselves for the long haul. The walk was filled with tales of triumph, humor, discomfort, fear (in the Wilson tunnel) and pure will. I applaud everyone who walked, especially those who stuck with Tommy for the duration of the walk. We all arrived at Variety School at approximately 3:30pm.
Monday, May 17, 2010
On Saturday, June 12, 2010 I will be doing a benefit walk for my daughter Hilina’i. Hilina’i is a very special girl who suffers from developmental delays, hypotonia and emotional outbursts. Throughout her entire life she has fought to overcome many challenges that have come her way. Her condition requires extended individual work with Physical, Occupational, Speech and Psychological Therapists. Our goal is to provide her the opportunity to attend a special needs school that can offer her the services she needs to develop to her full potential.The funds raised from this walk will help cover the expenses for her to attend Variety School; a school that specializes in special needs children.
My wife and I have wanted to enroll her into this school for many years but did not have the resources to make it happen. As parents you want do everything in your power to provide the best for your children. After many emotional and sleepless nights thinking about my daughter and her situation, I made a promise to my wife and myself that I would find a way to get her into Variety School by the fall of 2010. We have applied for different scholarships but unfortunately have not been selected.
Over the past 15 years I have worked with thousands of gifted athletes at the University of Hawai’i. Many are blessed with talents and skills that others dream of having. As a coach I can teach these athletes how to run faster, jump higher and play stronger. My daughter possesses a quality many do not have and it cannot be taught, it has to come from within. She has heart, the heart of a lion. She is a fighter and perseveres through the daily challenges that come her way.In her short life she has taught me a ton of lessons about life itself. I have learned to celebrate the little things in life that others take for granted, to be grateful for the gifts and opportunities each individual is given, and to cherish the time I have to spend with my family.
The highlight of my daughter’s day is when we go on our daily walks around the neighborhood, to the park or at the beach.
The walk I will be doing on Saturday, June 12 is dedicated to her and her fighting spirit.It will begin at Hau’ula Elementary School, my childhood school and end at Variety School located at the base of Diamond Head (Approximately 37 miles). All proceeds raised will help cover expenses related to her education and special needs services. In addition, a donation will be made in her name to help other children in her situation.
I am so blessed to have her in my life. Hilina’i is my hero, my inspiration and motivation to be the best that I can be.
I would appreciate any donations or help promoting this event. If you have questions or concerns please contact me.
Mahalo, Tommy Heffernan Jr.
Mahalo nui for your inquiries on how to donate. An account has been set up at American Savings Bank in her name. Checks can be made out to : Hilina'i Heffernan. Feel free to drop donations off at any ASB (starting 5/18) or mail it to:
Aloha, Tommy & Kea