Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy 8th Anniversary TOFA of Sacramento, Inc.

I would like to echo my fellow TOFA Board of Education members' comments. I am very indebted and grateful to TOFA for the organization that is has evolved into. Through the hardwork and dedication of a few, Viliami Vete, Ofa Mann and Tom Bhe, the organization was created to help the Polynesian Communities. I can't believe it's 8 years. Time sure did fly.

When I first moved to Sacramento in 2000, TOFA was still in its first year. I thought it was a dance group because, at the time, they were teaching dance classes preparing for the annual TOFA luau. I attended to see how many dancers and supporters they had. I didn't think an organization in its first year would have so many. I'm sure glad it's still going strong today.

These dance classes opened up new avenues to help the communities such as mentoring and tutoring, arts and crafts, Tongan language classes, community access radio programs, housing along with partnerships with SCSD, APAPA, API, CAPITAL, & Asian Pacific Rim to name a few. Now we'll be parterning up with Sione Tupouniua and Ma'ama Tu'u Loa.

Alot has happened during the last 8 years and it's been a learning and growing experience, especially if we're to help the children with education and becoming better products of their environments. They don't have to be a victim of circumstance but triumph over the challenges they've been given and grow from their experiences.

Times like this I miss Melelea Siliva Tausinga. She was an awesome supporter as well as Aunty Ofa's right hand "man", along with Tom Bhe, in doing things. She was the person of discipline when children were out of hand, joker when things were too serious, and always had this beautiful smile on her face. She always took care of the little kids and made sure they were just as important as the older dancers. She is missed tremendously by us.

Happy 8th Anniversary TOFA!

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