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