United Community Church honored its "senior saints" -- its four eldest members, all in or beyond their 90th years -- with a "senior prom" of blessings, coronation, tributes, banquet food, music and flowers at the church social hall last Friday. The program was arranged by interim Pastor Merle Lai and banquet chairwoman Trudy Takayama.
Bob "Steamy" Chow (approaching 90), Helen Young (fast approaching 90), Betty Chow-Hoy (93 1/2), and Amoi Yee (going on 98) were given a blessing ceremony by Lai, who was assisted by the Rev. Wilbur M. Kelly and the Rev. Johnson Jetton of the Hilo Marshallese Ministry-United Church of Christ.
The four honorees were crowned United Community Church Senior King and Queens in recognition of their many decades of church leadership, including serving on the board of directors, helping with facility oversight, volunteering on the Moon Festival Dinner benefit events, teaching Sunday school and flower arranging.
King Pon performed multi-instrumental and vocal popular music during a Chinese buffet planned by Wilbert Lau and Trudy Takayama, with table settings and room decorations by Simply Said Gifts & Flowers and the Takayama family.
The honorees were featured in a commemorative booklet compiled and orally presented by Keola Downing, Marjorie Kelly and church moderator Glenn Sako, and in a DVD presentation prepared by youth teacher Wendy Sako. Evelyn Lau, Monica Chen and Laura Chock served on the hospitality committee.
Musical numbers were presented by church and community vocalist Melanie Oldfather, 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano-winner Mark Yamanaka, Hilo Community Concert Society President Tom Geballe and Carole Geballe, and community/studio violinist Cathy Young and Alden Young. Dancers Norman Yee and Nia Faulkner performed a rumba and salsa.