Thursday, June 17, 2010

He completed the walk! Mahalo nui for your support:)

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.
There is no way to describe the gratitude we feel for all of you, who showed our family love in our time of need. We are humbled by your love and support and so grateful to everyone who came out to help, as well as to those who donated to Hilina'i's cause. Stay tuned for a complete list of the people who participated and finished. The youngest of the bunch was Rashaan Falemalu (14), and the senior member of the walkers was my father inlaw- Tommy Heffernan Sr. Both men completed the 37.5 miles! From the bottom of our hearts...thank you all!

With love, Tommy, Kea, Hilina'i and Ho'omana Heffernan

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:
Hilina'i Heffernan
45-212 Makahio St
Kane'ohe HI, 96744
We appreciate all that you are doing to help and are so grateful to have you all in our lives! We will keep you posted with more information as it becomes available and will definitley update you during the walk!

Aloha, Tommy & Kea