HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Prom is a big deal for high school students. But it can be a challenge to pay for everything.
That's where Lo and Clyde Kaimuloa come in.
"We want the kids to be able to go into a store and pick out whatever they want because they’ve never been able to do that,” said Lo Kaimuloa. “A lot of them have said to me, ‘Oh Aunty, I’ve never had anything new.’ So, it’s a neat thing for us to say, ‘Pick whatever you want.’”
The couple have owned Riches Kahala in Kahala Mall for 32 years.
For the past 15 years, the couple ― along with about 10 of their friends ― have helped approximately 200 underprivileged Hawaii children go to prom for free.
“We say whatever you want to give ―$20, $25, $100 ― whatever you can afford,” Clyde Kaimuloa said. “But we got some really really good friends, I’ll just put it that way.”
The Kaimuloas said they pick approximately 25 teenagers each year and spend around $1,000 per child.
“Our first girl was homeless. A lot of them were in shelters,” said Lo Kaimuloa. “Their parents have been in prison or they’re in foster care or their parents have passed away."
From outfitting teens in tuxedos and gowns complete with flowers hair and make-up, the couple’s goal is to gift high-school seniors a prom night they could only dream about.
“They can just give you this look like – wow! And then I gotta walk away because I can feel it. And that’s all we want,” Clyde said.
The Kaimuloas said they only ask for two things in return. The first is thank you letters to their friends who donated.
“And the other thing is when they go out into the world, that they will pay it forward ... to strangers. Because this is a group of strangers who have come together to help them,” said Lo Kaimuloa.
“To pass this on,” Clyde Kaimuloa added. “That’s our dream, that’s our seed. This is the seed that we’re planting and hoping that it carries on.”
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