McKenna wala’au’s with Hawaii News Now Sunrise Reporter Lacy Deniz about her special day. Lacy got married earlier this year at her hometown in Kona on the Big Island. McKenna says she was so honored to be invited to the wedding and it was one of her favorite weddings ever! Lacy made it a family affair with her immediate and extended ohana. “Growing up in Kona, you have friends that turn into family. Truly you become hānai into other ohana. So, when it’s time to plan a wedding, your guestlist just kind of grows on its own. You can’t really have a specific RSVP count; you just have to be ready for the larger number of people.” Lacy and her husband John were ready. The final count at the reception was well into the hundreds.
It was a special day for her close family as well, “Walking down the staircase, I really wanted to have all of my siblings and my parents be a part of the ceremony. So, my brothers had held my 30-foot veil and we all walked down the aisle together.” The reception was just as meaningful as the ceremony. Lacy and her husband both love Kapena, so they were first to come to mind when it came time to choose a band. Brother Noland joined Kapena at the reception. “I had grown up with Uncle Noland since I was a little girl, and to have him be a part of it and perform with Kapena, it was like such a dream.” Josh Tatofi also performed. Lacy shares, “I love the song “Pua Kiele” and I knew that’s the song I wanted to dance my first dance for John.” Lacy has danced hula all her life and comes from the Kaleohano family. Her aunties danced a special hula for her and John as a tribute to their lineage.
About Lacy Deniz: Born and raised on the Island of Hawaii, I come from a small town where everyone waves at each other while passing on the street, and the sense of ‘ohana surrounds you no matter where you go. Instead of an alarm clock, I wake up to crowing chickens; instead of driving on a freeway, I drive on dirt roads. I wouldn’t want to be raised any other way.
I graduated from Kamehameha High School Kapalama where I boarded for 4 years. I went on to graduate from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communications.
Amidst my college career, I was also involved with pageants. I was crowned Miss Kona Coffee in 2011 and went on to the Miss Hawaii pageant. During this journey I was able to pursue my passion of volunteerism, and started working with numerous organizations in the community, in which I continue to pursue.
In 2013, I started off as an intern with Hawaii News Now. With a fresh note pad in hand and a million butterflies in my stomach, I entered the doors like a kid in a candy store. Each day I watched and learned something new, fueling my passion for journalism. A year later I was offered a position as an associate producer, and then later became the weekend assignment editor. I dealt with stories ranging from plane crashes, to heartfelt human-interest stories. My passion for news had exponentially grown.
Hula is one of my main passions in life. It is a practice that has been passed down in my family for many generations. Seeing my grandparents’ eyes light up every time they watched me perform inspired me to dedicate my life to this art. Hula has taken me around the world, meeting new people and learning about other cultures. Most recently my halau and I participated in the Olympics of hula, the Merrie Monarch Festival Competition.
When I’m not in the studio you can catch me trading in my heels for hiking shoes, and my car for a canoe. From mauka to makai, I enjoy being in the outdoors. Whether it is paddling, hiking or riding my horse, the outdoors is my favorite place to be.
In life I have always followed the mana’o: “Hiki no na mea a pau i ka mana’o’i’o,” all is possible through faith. After taking my leap of faith here at Hawaii News Now, I feel incredibly blessed to be able to fulfill my dreams in my home state of Hawaii nei. I look forward to joining you every morning, and hope to add a dash of aloha to your commute.
For more information: https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/authors/lacy-deniz/