White Elephant Treasures: A Shore Thing

By AlvaAnn Uchimura ’89 Lai, P ’11 ’18 ’25, Carnival White Elephant Division Head

The White Elephant division hit the shore this summer and discovered treasure buried in the sand! 

The treasure hunt started in early June for White Elephant student division heads Christian Chang ’25, Perry Dye ’25, Isaiah Tanaka ’25, and Emi Toguchi ’25, as student and parent volunteers assisted faculty members with a locker clean-out. Many items such as clothing, shoes and textbooks were collected. Faculty and staff generously donated items to the collection too. 

We are so thankful to the Punahou ‘ohana who donated their treasures at the White Elephant donation collections in June and August. From waffle makers and golf clubs to PE clothes and Christmas trees, hundreds of boxes of donations were collected! We are so excited for everyone to see the items White Elephant will be offering at our fall sales and during Carnival weekend. 

White Elephant truly is a team effort, and we are immensely grateful for the many student and parent volunteers who have come out to help. At our most recent collection in August, over 50 volunteers came together to unload car trunks, sort through boxes and bags of donations, and prepare items to be stored until Carnival. Leading the charge are our amazing junior parent booth chairs who will soon be joined by junior student booth chairs and sophomore parent shadows. 

Experiencing Punahou Carnival as a student for many years, and then as a parent for many more, I have felt the pride of being a Carnival student booth chair, witnessed pure joy as my toddler took her first bite of a malasada, and shared in the excitement when it was time for my children to chair their own Carnival booths as juniors. I choose to volunteer because I know these precious Carnival memories are only possible thanks to the numerous parent volunteers who have come before me. 

It is so heartwarming to know that everyone comes together for Carnival in support of Punahou’s financial aid program. The camaraderie that comes from working together with students, parents and staff is the true treasure. The friendships formed and strengthened because of Carnival are priceless. 

The last White Elephant Donation Collection is on Saturday, September 9 from 9 a.m. – Noon in the Case Middle School Upper Parking Garage.  

The Halloween Sale is Friday, October 13 from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. The White Elephant Holiday Sale is Friday, November 3 from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.. Both sales will be held on the Sullivan Lānai. 

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