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.


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