News: Going green at the Earth Day Expo
Story by Kristen Wong
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Kaneohe Bay - Mokapu Mall came alive with all things green, at the base’s annual Earth Day Expo, Saturday.
There was no shortage of activity at the expo, emceed by Capt. Derek George, the director of the Environmental Compliance and Protection Department.
Some attendees chose to sit back and enjoy the entertainment on a gigantic stage going on throughout the day. Dance Movement Academy and K-Bay Gymnastics students began the morning performing dances to various jazz, tap and hip-hop numbers.
Magician Mark Allen Mauricio from the Hale Koa Hotel dazzled the audience with humorous magic tricks, and the Polynesian Cultural Center and Akala Dance Studio performed Hawaiian, Samoan and Tahitian dances.
Other attendees visited the many vendors and services from the base and the community, picking up resources and information. In the Keiki Activities Tent, children decorated turtle banks made out of paper bowls, and attendees could also sign up for a chance to win one of several prizes featured at the expo.
Expo attendees venturing into the Marine Corps Exchange received a reusable green bag, and were given discounts on whatever merchandise they could fit in the bag. Actor Taylor Wily, made a special appearance at the exchange during the expo, posing for photos and signing autographs.
Wily, a native of Honolulu, was in the movie, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” and is a cast member of the TV series, "Hawaii Five-0."
“It’s been wonderful,” said Steffanie Beissel, who brought her daughters to the expo, and met Wily at the exchange. “They’ve had a wonderful time. My husband is a huge 'Hawaii Five-0' fan. He’s going to be jealous we got to see him, and he wasn’t there.”
Cpl. Antonio Garcia, a wireman with Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment and his wife visited the expo. Garcia’s wife said it was nice to have an event like the expo, which offered the opportunity to see what people on the base and the island have to offer. She also enjoyed watching the dance academy on the expo stage and looked forward to watching the Polynesian Cultural Center dancers. Garcia said the expo was good for new Marines and sailors reporting to Marine Corps Base Hawaii. It was something to do other than staying in the barracks.
“It’s been great so far,” said Lt. Col. Sean Riordan, who is currently assigned to the Operations and Training Directorate. “Nice to see the base making the effort to educate the kids.”
Riordan and his children visited the Facilities Department’s booth at the expo, where they spun a wheel filled with energy conservation trivia questions.
During the expo, nine units from the base competed in the Unit Recycling Contest. Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24 each received a check for $250 as the large and small unit with the most recyclables. Overall, 25,891 recyclable containers were collected.
Additionally, students from various grades at Mokapu Elementary School entered a coloring contest in the spirit of Earth Day. Winners received prizes and were recognized on stage.
The afternoon finished with a performance by the Arthur Murray Dance Center of Hawaii, and more prize drawings.
Earth Day started in 1970, and has been celebrated ever since, worldwide. Organizations and individuals everywhere have taken initiatives in keeping the Earth clean. For more information about Earth Day, visit http://www.earthday.org.