A beautiful long article about KORE was featured in The Garden Island on 10/21/11
Once a month, when time permits, Kurt Leong, a North Shore fireman, dives into the water at Black Pot in Hanalei Bay to help physically challenged Kaua‘i residents do something he can’t live without: Get in the water.
Born and raised in Kailua, O‘ahu, Leong has always been in or around the water. Like most island residents, he grew up surfing, and it is a lifestyle he maintains to this day.
A combination of this passion for surfing and the start of a new phase in his life four years ago sparked Leong’s interest in giving back. In 2007, after working as a flight attendant for 20 years, Leong, 52, retired from Aloha Airlines. And while he is still a fireman on Kaua‘i, working as a captain at the Hanalei Fire Station, Leong found himself with more time on his hands than he knew what to do with.
“I had a lot of time off,” Leong, a Kapahi resident, said. “I was surfing every day. I thought (starting a beach day) was a great idea.”
Working with the broad idea of giving back in mind, and not much more, Leong flew to O‘ahu in 2007 to participate in a training session put on by AccessSurf, an O‘ahu-based organization dedicated to getting disabled people, who can’t on their own, back into the water. But translating what he learned on O‘ahu into an organization on Kaua‘i wasn’t so easy…