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The Table Tennis Hawaii Story:
I moved to Hawaii in September of 2014. The West Hawaii table tennis community was very welcoming and friendly. I started playing regularly at the Kona Club and the Captain Cook Club. In December, 2015, Dan Millare, founder of the Kona Club, told me he was moving and asked me to take over as the Kona Club President. I was happy to help out. The players were very helpful and supportive. I designed a club logo, a website, and Facebook page. Len Winkler was directing the state webpage and directing tournaments on the Big Island. I contacted him about holding a tournament in Kona. We scheduled the Kona Open for August 20-21, 2016. As the tournament date got closer, sign ups were lower than expected. Len cancelled a couple events and decided to have the tournament on Saturday only. Even though I had been working hard to promote the tournament, Len blamed me. Len became increasingly angry and verbally abusive to me and the Kona Club. Len demanded that I pay for his hotel bill. I refused. Despite the bad experience, tournament day ran smoothly. At the end of the day, Len told me there will never be another tournament in Kona. I never wanted to go through another ordeal like that. I called a club meeting to discuss what had happened and what we should do. We decided that I should be the new tournament director. We planned to hold our next tournament on March 12, 2017. I attempted to contact Len in December to talk with him about our plans and ask him if he would list our tournament on his state website. My phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages were ignored. I knew I needed to come up with a good plan quickly to promote our tournament. I came up the idea of starting a Facebook forum and a State website called Table Tennis Hawaii for everyone to share info. Our tournament was a big success. A month later Len sent out an email filled with lies about the Kona Club to the entire Hawaii table tennis community. Len then put a note on his state webpage that the Kona Club is no longer a member. Our next tournament, held on September 16, 2017, was our best to date. The open singles final featured two very skilled international players from Czech and Brazil. I am very proud of what we have accomplished. A big thank you to everyone who has supported Table Tennis Hawaii, Table Tennis on the Net, The Kona Club, and our World Championship of Ping Pong Hawaii program. You are the Best!
- Greg Kerkow, Table Tennis Hawaii Director