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Mai Tai Sing, Jimmy Borges, Hyatt’s Trapperettes reunite

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From left: Carolyn Shofner Caum, Jimmy Borges and Mai Tai Sing.

Folks who hit the town in the 1970s and ’80s know that Trappers in the Hyatt Waikiki was the hottest nightspot in town. Jimmy Borges and the Betty Loo Taylor Trio kept the joint jumping until 4 in the morning. Attractive, classy waitresses, known as Trapperettes, played a solid role in drawing crowds, too. They wore form-fitting attire that didn’t take much material, black fishnet stockings and heels. Many national stars who gave concerts here would visit Trappers after their shows and perform. I can remember a night when the great trumpet man Wynton Marsalis came in with his horn and some of his jazz men and blew the place apart. The club was run by Mai Tai Sing, one of the owners of the Rickshaw in San Francisco. The Rickshaw became widely known after a night in the ’60s when Beatles John Lennon and Ringo Starr and Little Richard’s organist Billy Preston stopped in. But that’s another story. Mai Tai ran Trappers. She and some of her former employees held a reunion Sunday night in the Hyatt’s Ciao Mein. It was organized by Carolyn Shofner Caum and Sheryl Lopes. Attending were bartenders John Morita and Les Hong with his wife Kim, Borges and his wife Vicki, former Miss Hawaii Keone Cook, and 6-foot-tall Suzanne Jose, who flew in from Aspen. Also stopping by was Sheryl’s husband, storied former Chaminade basketball coach Merv Lopes. A good time was had by all …

Divino Ritmo Dance Studio operators Lucas Jaime and Yanna Samkova have organized a free dance session from 7 to 10 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month at the Honolulu Design Center’s Cupola. Tuesday is half-price wine night at the Stage Restaurant next door, and good guy Thomas Sorenson, who owns the Design Center and Stage, is allowing wine to be sold to dancers at half-price in the Cupola as well. Pupu from Stage also are available. One of the Divino Ritmo’s top dancers, Maria "Baby" Handl, is in charge of this Tuesday’s dance night … Baby’s son, Marc Handl, is following in the footsteps of his late dad, Richard Handl, who was one of Hilton’s top execs. Marc, 37, was in town recently visiting his mom and brother, Dominic. He also spent time with former Hawaii Prep classmates Jed Gushman and Chad Iwamoto before heading for Tokyo, where he took a new post as Peninsula Hotel manager. Hawaii-born Marc has been an exec at several international luxury hotels. Besides English, he speaks French, Korean, Portuguese and Tagalog …

Melissa MonettE, 17, of Mililani, is one of the 2010 Search for Huggable Heroes winners in the U.S. and Canada honored by Build-a-Bear Workshop. The awards are given to youngsters whose efforts make their communities and the world a better place. It’s no surprise Melissa was a winner. This remarkable young lady is president of Kids Helping Kids with Diabetes, an organization that has raised more than $121,000 for the Hawaii Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She is regarded highly by Manya Levin, exec director of the local chapter. In addition, Melissa manages A Harvest for Many, which collects food for the needy. The group has collected more than 32,000 pounds of food that is shared with local food programs. Besides her charitable work, Melissa, who graduated from Mililani High this year, captained the girl’s tennis team and played violin in the school orchestra. Each Huggable winner will receive a $7,500 scholarship, $2,500 for the charity of their choice and a trip to the Build-a-Bear Workshop World Bearquarters in St. Louis, Mo. …

Randy Schoch, wife Cheri and kids Randall and Victoria were expected to arrive today from Scottsdale, Ariz., for their annual summer vacation. Besides checking on his Ruth’s Chris and Macaroni Grill restaurants, he’ll catch up with pals and surf …

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin on Honolulu streets in World War II, writes of people, places and things on Fridays. E-mail him at bwood@staradvertiser.com.

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