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City Council bestows honor on anti-bullying isle beauty

By Ben Wood

LAST UPDATED: 01:08 p.m. HST, Feb 28, 2014

The Honolulu City Council honored Aly­shia Shi­mizu on Feb. 19 for her "perseverance in the face of adversity and for her courageous stance against bullying." Shi­mizu is a 19-year-old survivor of a flesh-eating disease and "patient ambassador" at Shriners Hospitals for Children. She was diagnosed with the disease when she was 5 after a fall in her garage. Doctors at Shriners Hospitals for Children, mostly here, and in Sacramento, Calif., saved her life. She is doing well after 28 surgeries. She has two more to go at the Hono­lulu hospital to rehabilitate her skin.

Shimizu is the reigning Miss T.E.E.N. Ala Moana Hawaii USA. T.E.E.N. stands for Teens Exemplifying Excellence Nationally. She was a Miss Hawaii Collegiate America contestant Jan. 11 at the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel. She was bullied as a child because of deep scars on her skin from the flesh-eating disease, and she speaks at community events against bullying. Some school kids can be nasty to students who are handicapped or who are sufferingfrom disease. Shi­mizu had to deal with students who called her "disease girl" and other things. Council members Ron Menor and Kymberly Marcos Pine pushed for Shi­mizu to receive the council honor. Menor said he read about Shi­mizu in a Jan. 9 Hono­lulu Star-Advertiser story written by Nadine Kam. Pine said she met Shi­mizu two years ago at an event and knew there was something special about her. Shi­mizu's parents are Tony and Annette Shi­mizu. The award for their daughter was certainly deserved. You go, girl! …

STEPPING OUT: Dancing Queens, put on those shoes! On March 8, La Pietra-Hawaii School for Girls is hosting another HOOPLA, its annual fundraiser for the financial aid program. Featured is Bjorn Again, a group based in North London that pays tribute to ABBA for a night of disco music and dancing. Chef Chai Chaowasaree has a gourmet menu planned, and event designer Steven Boyle will make the Great Lawn look like Studio 54, they say up there. La Pietra alumnae Lauran Bromley and Debbie Weil-Manuma, co-chairwomen of the event, say the silent and live auctions will include trips, antique furniture, upscale jewelry, Hawaiian woodwork and more. Tickets are $300 per person or start at $3,000 for a table of 10. Call 922-2744 or go to lapietra.edu

WITH THE BIRTH of Jordynn Amarie Canepa Feb. 8 in Fontana, Calif., the family of Maka­kilo's 92-year-old Mary Anita Gueco now spans six living generations. Jordynn is Mary's great-great-great-granddaughter. Mary's daughter Gloria Jean Gueco Langdon, 70, lives in Moreno Valley, Calif. Gloria's daughter Donna Marie Gueco McCartney, 55, lives in Whittier, Calif. Donna's son Jason Allen Canepa, 37, lives in Redlands, Calif. Jason's son James Anthony Canepa, 19, little Jordynn's dad, lives in Fontana …

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

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LadyNinja wrote:
Good going Alyshia! Keep it up.
on February 28,2014 | 07:35AM
808Cindy wrote:
Bullies should be shamed for who they are, by their peers.
on February 28,2014 | 07:37AM
saveparadise wrote:
You are not going to convince me that this beautiful woman was ever bullied because of her looks. But the cause is just and you deserve whatever recognition you are receiving.
on February 28,2014 | 09:40AM
gobows wrote:
I remember when this flesh eating thing happened to her.
on February 28,2014 | 10:58AM
gobows wrote:
my oh my...she's all grown up now. Awesome!
on February 28,2014 | 10:58AM
sailfish1 wrote:
Congratulations Alyshia! You have already accomplished a lot and have a great future ahead of you.
on February 28,2014 | 10:10PM
awahana wrote:
Beauty on the inside as well as outside.
on March 1,2014 | 05:47AM
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