I was very happy to read that Archie Kalepa was inducted into the Hawaii Waterman's Hall of Fame (The Maui News, Aug. 25).
Many spectacular water-related achievements are known about Archie, but I would like to share one of Archie's finest moments that shows the kind of person Archie is.
Last December, a young lady named Karen Gaffney came to Maui to attempt a swim from Molokini to Wailea Beach. She wanted to prove that people with disabilities can do amazing things if given the chance.
What made the swim very special was Karen has Down syndrome and one leg that is partially paralyzed. To help guide Karen on her swim was Archie Kalepa on his stand-up paddle board.
The currents were strong that day but Archie paddled 20 feet in front of Karen to help keep her on course. Karen completed her historic swim and Archie proved to me that he has the heart of a real waterman.
State Director, Best Buddies Hawaii