Make Every Block Better Grant Brings a New Melody to a Well-Worn Park in Hawaii

October 28, 2022 : H&R Block

H&R Block and Nextdoor have partnered to Make Every Block Better in communities across the United States. Now in its third year, the partnership allows community members to nominate projects that uplift and improve their neighborhood and give people a place to connect. Read below to learn how Make Every Block Better funds made an impact in Kona, Hawaii and visit the partnership website to learn about the 30 other projects spanning the nation.

The playground at Charles Lunalilo Park, affectionately called Blue Park by locals, is well-loved, and heavily used by neighbors. With all that fun and play, the 14-year-old park in Kailua Kona, Hawaii needed some significant TLC. Maly Romero, resident of the Hawaiian Islands for close to 12 years nominated Blue Park for a Make Every Block Better grant to breathe new life into the distressed playground. 

From soccer and baseball games to hula dancing and tai chi, Blue Park plays host to countless activities. “We need this park to be maintained properly so that our keiki [children] can continue to use it and thrive in our community, said Romero.” 

Seeing a need and ready to take action, Romero and other community members established their own nonprofit, the Kona Playgrounds Foundation, with a mission to provide financial relief via fundraising activities to parks in distressed conditions in Kailua Kona with the goal of providing better infrastructure to local families and schools. The Foundation submitted a video appeal and the community was ecstatic to be selected for a Make Every Block Better grant which provided new musical-themed play equipment designed specifically for younger children.  

“Winning this grant meant so much for us and for our community,” said Romero. “The musical equipment that was installed was a great hit! Kids play with the equipment often and parents can now hear kids’ melodies as they enjoy the park.” 

To a melodic soundtrack of children enjoying the new equipment, H&R Block volunteers helped sand, prime and paint the existing playground. Now, the park feels renewed and taken care of and the community is grateful for and very happy with the transformation. 


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