Samson Ikaikamauloa Kaukahokuikalani Padilla was born on May 17th, 2011, but lived only a day due to undetected pneumonia. At sunset on Saturday, May 17th, 2014, on the 3rd anniversary of his birth and death, family, friends and members of the community gathered at the King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel to support each other and to remember Samson with a lantern floating ceremony. The evening was a celebration of culture and community organized by Ikaikamauloa Youth Foundation, which was founded by the family with a mission to honor Samson’s memory.
From their website:
It has been our hearts desire to establish the Ikaikamauloa Youth Foundation in honor of our Samson. “Ikaikamauloa” translates to “Forever Strong.” Our mission and vision is to promote Health & Wellness awareness through safe, fun and loving community events. Building strong families in challenged times is of utmost importance. Through this foundation, may you be embraced by the faith, hope and love that has been felt through our Samson forevermore.
This year, the lantern floating ceremony started out with a beautiful conch piece “Pu Kani,” signifying the start of a celebration of life and unity. Those in attendance were honored to hear a beautiful Hawaiian chant from Naauao Vivas titled “Oli and Pule.” We were reminded of the beauty of life during a moving hula creative dance performed to the song “I Look to You.” Another highlight of the evening was the Kahakai Ukulele Ensemble. It was truly inspiring to see the importance that younger members of our community place on their heritage and the memory of loved ones.
It was obvious that hours of hard work and planning went into making the evening a success. As a result, a mood of peace, stillness and serenity went out over the waters with the lanterns and memories of those they honored. We are grateful for the hard work of the Ikaikamauloa Youth Foundation and every one of its members. These are the moments that restore our faith in humanity and inspire us to remember the positive benefits of empathy and community. Thank you for your dedication to our families and the future of our Island.
The official launch date of the Ikaikamauloa Youth Foundation as a non-profit organization is set for this summer. Visit www.teamsamson808.com for details, or follow the Ikaikamauloa Youth Foundation Facebook page for updates.
To learn more about the elements of a lantern floating ceremony, visit the website for Hawaii’s largest Memorial Day remembrance event, Lantern Floating Hawaii Memorial Day, or watch this beautifully produced video for the 2014 Lantern Floating Hawaii Ceremony at Ala Moana Beach Park on Oahu. The video details the history of this unique cross-cultural event and how it has touched the hearts of local residents, visitors and other communities around the world.