Entertaining a good idea

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“In the Hawaiian culture people grow up singing and playing music. We thought it would be great to celebrate that more,” said Rachel Allen, FNP, director of One Holistic Place, a wellness-based nonprofit in North Kohala. Allen and her team will bring some of that Hawaii Island talent to the stage for an entertaining community event on Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Kawaihae Canoe Club from 6 to 10 p.m.

A fundraiser for One Holistic Place, the “Big Island’s Got Talent” showcases 10 keiki and 10 adult performers, competing for first, second and third place honors. The evening includes special guests and island-style dinner at the Canoe Club facility, transformed into a festive family-friendly gathering place by the ocean.

“When we first thought of a fundraiser, I wanted to have something for everybody in the community to enjoy,” said Allen. “And we’ve had so much positive feedback and comments from the guests and performers, too. It’s just wonderful,” said Allen. “The talent has been amazing. It’s been mostly singing in the past, and this year we have more variety—a belly dancer, comedians, a juggler.”

Allen is a family nurse practitioner who started nursing at age 15, as a student in Bronx, New York. “I immediately connected with nursing,” she said.

Thanks to a special program, she finished high school as a licensed practical nurse, obtained an associate’s degree and started work as a traveling nurse.

“Hawaii was my first assignment,” said Allen. “I fell in love with it and wanted to come back.”

Returning to the island, she worked at West Hawaii Community Health Center for about 18 months before founding OHP in 2011.

“I became aware of how much more I wanted to give,” said Allen. “And, I was diagnosing about half my pati

ents with three-to-five chronic illnesses they could have prevented if caught early … I really believe in prevention.” For example, a patient with diabetes detected early could postpone the onset or alleviate the severity of neuropathy (loss of sensation in hands and feet) for a long time—allowing time for lifestyle changes, and to explore new medical options that become available.

Located in North Kohala, OHP offers health screenings, seven-day health camps for youth and young adults, and monthly health classes in reiki, healing touch and other topics, with a goal is to promote comprehensive, integrative health care. OHP will offer a two-day class for Reiki Level I & II, January 25-26, 2014, open to the public, by donation. The class is free to those in need, or $250 for Certification and Continuing Education Credits. Advance registration required by January 20 via email OneHolisticPlace@gmail.com or call 756-3883.

Allen said that the Big Island’s Got Talent production has been very positive for audience and contestants, regardless of age or experience. “All the performers are very nervous going into it,” said Allen. “But they get offstage and feel very good and eager to come back next year.” Allen hopes that Big Island’s Got Talent can continue to grow for years to come.

“What motivates me?” said Allen. “Initially my motivation came from the patients who could have prevented chronic illness and have developed complications that are irreversible. And the patients who were eager and receptive to health screening and education on preventing chronic illness who made healthy lifestyle changes with positive results. I was also motivated to continue to practice medicine with integrity, good ethics and high-standards.

“Now the major motivating force in addition to the patients and holding high-standards in health care, are all of the people who are behind OHP—our board members, advisory board members, volunteers, friends, family and people in the community who take time from their busy lives to make a difference and support our mission and community. So many people have and are continuing to help create a strong foundation,” said Allen.

Sponsors for the dinner portion of Big Island’s Got Talent include Banjy’s Paradises Bar & Grill, The Strawberry Patch, and Original Thai Cuisine, and other restaurants, chefs and food providers are encouraged to contribute. Advance tickets for Big Island’s Got Talent are $30 General Admission with dinner included, $40 reserved seats with dinner include. Show-only tickets are $15 adults, $7.50 for Keiki 6-12. ($5 more at the door.) Tickets are available at Waimea Urgent Care in the Carter Professional Center, Gill’s Lanai in North Kohala, Kiernan’s Music Store in South Kona or call 756-3883 or email OneHolisticPlace@gmail.com. For more information, visit www.oneholisticplace.org.