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3:47 AM Sat, Sept. 22nd

Fun in the sun: Hawaiian luau, volleyball tourney to benefit needy

Prescott Firefighters’ Charities/Courtesy photo<br>
Pyroklectic performs a fire dancing show at last year’s luau.

Prescott Firefighters’ Charities/Courtesy photo<br> Pyroklectic performs a fire dancing show at last year’s luau.

If you're looking for a quick trip to the islands while benefiting a local charity, then stop by the second annual Luau at the Old Firehouse Plaza in Prescott on Saturday.

At the corner of Goodwin and Granite streets, a sand volleyball tournament begins at 10 a.m., as does the Island Shop Hop. At 3 p.m. the luau begins and runs until 11 p.m., said Linda Forbes, who co-owns the Old Firehouse Plaza.

"It is a well-run event," said Bob Graf, who attended the Luau last year. "They did a really wonderful job of decorating and capturing the spirit of a luau. We spent most of our time walking around and socializing with our friends."

Don Biele, another attendee last year, said what he liked most about the event was "the camaraderie, seeing lots of friends, watching the volleyball tournament and seeing the support from a great community."

People who attend are encouraged to dress in Hawaiian attire and donate $5 to enter the luau, which will include an authentic pig roast, a sand volleyball tournament, a live hula performance, two live bands and two fire dancing shows by Pyroklectic, Forbes said.

All proceeds from the event will go to Prescott Firefighters' Charities to help people in need in our community, Forbes said.

"We had about 2,000 people down there last year and are hoping for an even bigger turnout this year," said Kristi Gagnon, chairwoman of Prescott Firefighters' Charities, a nonprofit that will benefit from the luau. "Everyone had a great time. Some even said it was the event of the summer."

Last year, the luau raised $6,879 for Prescott Firefighters Charities and the Arizona Children's Burn camp, Forbes said.

"There are a number of events in town that raise money for the Arizona Burn Camp, so we thought the money would be best invested into this new charity that helps people here in town," Forbes said.

Forbes said she and her husband Robin came up with the idea for the luau last year, because they wanted to do something new and different for the community that would also benefit charities.

"During the day it's more of a family event with the sand volleyball tournament and the Island Shop Hop, but as the night progresses it becomes more of an adult event," Forbes said.

During the Island Shop Hop, people present a tour guide booklet at each shop in the Old Firehouse Plaza, get it stamped by each merchant, then turn it in before 6 p.m. to be entered in a drawing for a gift basket with $600 in gift certificates to plaza shops, Forbes said.

"We got a chance to go into each of the little stores, find out what they had in there and get our (booklet) stamped," Graf said. "Normally, I wouldn't have gone in there, and we were impressed by the quality of the stores."

The winner of the Island Shop Hop does not need to be present at the drawing at 6:45 p.m., Forbes said.

CLM Earthmovers and Terra Sole Outdoor Designs sponsor the sand volleyball tournament, made possible after tons of sand are used to create a beach on Goodwin Street in front of the Firehouse Plaza.

The sand volleyball tournament will start at 10 a.m. on Goodwin Street, and the championship game will take place at 5 p.m. with a live DJ, Gagnon said.

"Even after the tournament was over last year, people went out on

the sand just to play around," Gagnon said.

To sign up a four-player co-ed team for the tournament, go to www.prescottffcharities.org, Gagnon said. All players must be over 18, and there is a $30 early registration fee.

New to the event this year are the Halau Hula Napuaokalei'ilima hula dancers from a hula school in Cottonwood and a dunk tank inside which Steve Blair will be the first local celebrity, Forbes said.

Doug the DJ will be there from 11 a.m. and emcee for the entire event. Kai Beamer, a native Hawaiian, will play acoustic reggae from 3 to 6 p.m., and Agent Audio will perform from 7 to 11 p.m., Forbes said.

"I really enjoyed the entertainment later in the evening," Graf said, adding that when the fire dancers of the group Pyroklectic started their performance, he and his friends all stopped what they were doing to watch.

"We are bringing back Pyroklectic, a definite crowd-pleaser," Gagnon said. "This year they are going to do two shorter performances - one at 8 p.m. and one at 10 p.m."

There will be raffle prizes throughout the event, Forbes said.

Yavapai Humane Society will be there dressed in leis with pets up for adoption, Forbes said.

"It is going to be a fantastic day and an event people won't want to miss," Gagnon said.

For more information about the luau and the nonprofit, visit www.prescottffcharities.org.