Ānuenue Playground 2.0: The Strength of Community

This June, Live Aloha Realty had the honor of being a part of community fundraising efforts to save Ānuenue Playground, the gathering place of Waimea Town on the Big Island. We issued a $10,000 matching challenge which, when met, provided the final $20,000 needed to rebuild this beloved town landmark.


We thank our clients from the bottom of our hearts for choosing us to serve them. It is only through your patronage that we are able to give back and – together – make a difference in this community.


Last week the funds raised through June were translated into an awe-inspiring outpouring of generosity as the community came together to rebuild and revitalize the playground. Hundreds of volunteers donated thousands of hours of their time, local contractors lent their tools, trucks, and teams, and resort hotels and Waimea eateries provided delicious meals…all to help rebuild this special playground for the keiki of this community and the people of this island.


This was not the first time such a thing has happened. 25 years ago in 1992, the extended Waimea community came together to build the original Ānuenue Playground. It, too, was donor-funded and community-built, and the experience will never be forgotten by those who were there.


Over time, weather and heavy use took their toll, and the playground began to show signs of deterioration. In 2013 a small group of community members came together as the Friends of Ānuenue Playground to maintain the aging structures. As the need for repairs grew, the group approached the County of Hawaii for assistance, but the cost was more than the County could fund. Further, it was decreed that once the playground became unsafe for use, it would be demolished.


Spurred on by this news, the Friends of Ānuenue Playground developed a plan to rebuild this beloved Waimea landmark and embarked on a campaign to raise the $400,000 needed for the materials.


After years of outreach, the fundraising goal was met in June, and the final hurdle – the build –  was set for the week of October 23rd to 29th. What may have seemed impossible to some turned out to be a life-changing experience for many, not least of all the volunteers themselves and the keiki to whom this undertaking was dedicated.


We are forever grateful to have been given the opportunity to take part in this uplifting, heartwarming experience. Members of the Live Aloha Realty team were among the hundreds of community members from all walks of life spending hours and days working shoulder to shoulder, collaborating, cooperating, and making friendships where none had been before – all for a shared cause so close to our hearts: our keiki. Our future.


And the love in the air, the spirit of aloha, was more than palpable. It was alive.

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