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news News Friday, May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 6:19 PM - Friday, May 24, 2019 6:19 PM

Honolulu Shriners Hospital employee thanks Hilton for heartfelt ukulele gift

Honolulu Shriners Hospital employee thanks Hilton for heartfelt ukulele gift

By Pam Carey-Goo, RN, infection control nurse, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Honolulu 

When Hilton™ Hawaiian Village in Waikiki asked employees which nonprofit they would choose to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of Hilton™ Hotels and Resorts, they decided to share the aloha with Shriners Hospitals for Children — Honolulu. We were told they chose us because of the care we provide for all local children, regardless of ability to pay.

Last Thursday, our patients and their families filled the recreation therapy room with the promise of a special surprise, and they were not disappointed! The celebration included more than 20 Hilton™ employees who not only donated and tuned 100 ukuleles, but they also delivered delicious pastries created by their executive pastry chef, Eric Snow.

In addition to the ukuleles and the pastries, Hilton™ arranged a surprise visit from ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro. Jake arrived on O‘ahu from a long tour that afternoon and graciously came straight from the airport to spend time at the Honolulu Shriners Hospital.

After each patient was given a ukulele, Jake played some songs and gave a ukulele lesson. In no time, the room was jamming with music, song and laughter as we attempted to play three songs that Jake taught us. I say “us” because some employees – including myself – recently started a lunchtime ukulele class. We enjoyed playing our ukuleles and the camaraderie as much as the patients!

Eating desserts, signing the ukuleles and taking pictures created a truly wonderful and inspiring experience for the patients, families and staff.

We are also thankful to learn that the DoubleTree by Hilton™ Alana Waikiki will be donating 100 of their famous chocolate chip cookies to the Honolulu Shriners Hospital at the end of this month.

I want to thank Hilton™ Hawaiian Village, their employees and Jake Shimabukuro for making a special event for our patients.

I also want to thank my colleagues at Shriners Hospitals for Children, and our recreational therapy department, for doing what you do every day for our patients. You are a great team to work with.

Group ukulele lesson with Jake