Sunday, November 29, 2015         


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Kauai family's video a finalist in $1 million soap contest

By Ben Wood


KAUAI'S Rainbow Star Zephier, 9, saw the Gain "Smells Like a Million Bucks" contest on Facebook and asked her single mom, Erika Schneider, if the family could enter a video with her singing and playing ukulele. Rainbow Star had already written song lyrics for a contest entry, thinking if the family wins, the money could go to fix the clan's car.

The family, which includes Rainbow Star's brothers, Journey, 11, and Tahca, 8, had been homeless and may soon be living in a tent or a car again if things don't get better.

The kids have unusual names because their dad is Native American. The family's video entry was selected as one of 25 finalists for the $1 million prize. Contestants created a 60-second video that uses the phrase, "I Use Gain and I Smell Like a Million Bucks!" Rainbow Star, who hopes to be a ukulele rock star someday, said, "Our video tells a story with aloha and since Gain smells good, I wanted to show all the things I love in Hawaii that smell good -- like the ocean, wind, flowers and my favorite, the smell of rain on Mount Waialeale. So we used lots of plumeria, my favorite flower, and I made the lei and wrote the lyrics. So then I had to think of what smells bad. And a friend said my brothers smell stinky. So my lyrics tell a story about how Gain can get even boys' stinky laundry clean and smelling like paradise, because my Mommy and I use Gain." The $1 million goes to the sender of the video with the most votes. To vote, go to Voting ends Aug. 1 at 6 a.m. Hawaii time. You can vote for Rainbow Star and family once a day during the voting period ...

GREAT NEWS: Jimmy Borges' liver cancer surgery to remove a large tumor Monday was a success, according to his wife, Vicki. The surgeon removed all of the tumor in the seven-hour operation, an elated Vicki said after the surgery at Kaiser ...

BYRON NEASE, billed as "The Phantom Without the Opera," for his "Phantom of the Opera" role, sings at Unity Church Saturday. Mihana Souza opens the show. Pre-show refreshments will be served in the garden at 6 p.m. followed by the show at 7. A donation of $40 will get you in. Call 228-4499 for info ...

THE KAHALA Wine Festival, billed as offering "the best of Napa and Sonoma," will be held Aug. 6, 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. Wines from Aston Estate, Double Diamond, DuMol, Gemstone, Jones Family, Massican, Outpost, PlumpJack/Cade, Rivers-Marie/Thomas Brown, Soujorn, Tofanelli and Vieux-Os will be poured beachside near the pool. A buffet is included. Tickets are $75 in advance or $85 at the door; call 739-8760 ...

PORTIONS of singer Kalani Kinimaka's ashes will be scattered off the Elks Club at 1 p.m. today and off Lahaina's Baby Beach on Maui at 5 p.m. Sunday. After a long Waikiki career, Kalani made his home on Maui. Among those expected to take part in Kalani's services and program today at the Elks Club are his brother Iva Kinimaka, Danny Kaleikini and Eddie Palama ...

Ben Wood, who sold newspapers on Honolulu streets in World War II, writes of people, places and things. Email him at

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