By Jennifer Holzman ’92 Lum P ’26, 29, PFA New Families Co-Chair
I credit the pandemic as the driver behind my initial involvement with the PFA. We were a new family starting during the pandemic, and I quickly learned that the best way to feel connected to the school and community was through volunteering. It was also the only way for parents to be allowed on campus. It started with helping parents with their self-guided tours during open houses and welcome events for accepted students. Involvement with the New Families Committee seemed like a natural next step.
Co-Chairing the New Families Committee with Jeffrey Tom ’94 P ’32, ’36 has been an amazing experience. There are three events that we help to organize: the New Families Welcome Social, the Flaming “P” Keiki Activities, and the Movie Night in the spring. Jeff and I have both had the privilege of witnessing firsthand how these school events contribute to the vibrant sense of community, unity and pride that defines Punahou.
Our second event of the year was the Flaming “P” Keiki Activities held in October. The Flaming “P” is a school spirit event that dates back to the 1960s and celebrates our school’s legacy, values and connections. Before the chili dinner and the lighting of the “P”, there are a multitude of activities for students, employees and alumni to participate in. The New Families Committee is responsible for one of the many tents on Rice Field hosting keiki friendly activities.
This year, our second in-person Flaming “P” event since the pandemic, we had a record turnout with hundreds of children of all ages. Our most popular activity, decorating sugar cookies with blue and yellow frosting, put instant smiles on all who participated. Attendees were also able to participate in a ring toss or corn hole activity, have their nails painted blue and yellow, apply a school spirit tattoo, and grab an egg filled with a surprise from our treasure chest. Happiness was the result!
We had parent volunteers, staff and student volunteers from the baseball team and boys cross country team who all came together to make this event not only a joyous occasion, but also helped to bring a sense of school spirit and pride. The Flaming “P” is a testament to the extraordinary way in which involvement can make our Punahou experience all the more meaningful, instilling a sense of spirit, teamwork and dedication.
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