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<p>Wake Up Waikoloa members pose with their pocket Constitutions at their Thursday morning meeting at Kau Kau Depot. From left, Andy Walden, Barbara Belovich, Bob Green, Bill Sanborn, Claire Eddo, Tane Noguchi, Rachelle Moore, Barbara Roesch, Bob Skaggs, Sandy Skaggs. (COURTESY PHOTO)</p>

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty … ”

Declaration of Independence? Gettysburg Address? No, this is the preamble to the Constitution of the United States. And if you want to check and be sure, numerous businesses around the island now offer free copies, courtesy of a group called “Wake Up Waikoloa.”

What started as a weekly gathering of friends over coffee and island-style breakfast at Kau Kau Depot (the old post office building), is now a team of committed members, hard at work on the “Constitution Project.” Since they began in May, Wake Up Waikoloa has distributed 867 free pocket-sized copies of the U.S. Constitution to 38 different shops, services and restaurants.

“We took on the Constitution Project after a group on Maui called CIA (the Constitution is Alive on Maui) found my blog and started sending me their newsletters,” said Michelle “Mikie” Kerr, who started the group as a means to stay connected after she retired from real estate. “I loved the idea.”

“Clearly, as the last few months and the many scandals have revealed, we’ve lost our way,” said Kerr. “The Constitution is so simple and direct and the Founders thought of everything. Their focus was preserving individual liberties and they knew that required the federal government to be very limited.”

“We see this as a public service, since it is a historical document representing the foundation of the United States,” said group member Rachelle Moore. “You can read it on line or get a copy at the library, but this is a better way to see the Constitution.”

“Is the Constitution even taught in schools anymore?” said Kerr. “Sadly, most Americans are clueless about our history. The federal government has grown out of control and our leaders no longer represent ‘We the People,’ but cater instead to special interests and maintaining their own power.”

“I’d like to get this in the hands of every child in school,” said Barbara Belovich. “Wouldn’t it be a nice thing for them to have?”

“The gap between knowledge of the Constitution and assumed knowledge is quite wide,” said Andy Walden, “and we are trying to narrow that.”

“Our aim is to educate, not agitate. It’s not a Republican thing or Democratic thing—it’s an American thing,” said Kerr. The vast majority of the businesses where we’ve placed the free pocketbook Constitutions are happy to do it and agree it’s needed.”

To support the Constitution Project, Wake Up Waikoloa is hosting a rummage sale on Saturday, Aug, 17, from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Waikoloa Community Room, adjacent to the Golf Pro Shop. For a minimal donation, additional sellers are welcome, or rummage items may be dropped off for sale by members, with any leftovers disposed of after the sale.

Wake Up Waikoloa meets every Thursday at 9 a.m. at Kau Kau Depot, to talk story about current events, community issues, and more. Everyone is welcome. For more information about the rummage sale, the Wake Up Waikoloa coffee klatch, or the Constitution Project, call Rachelle Moore at 883-2543.