When the Silver Beach Carousel opened in January 2010, Tom Rendel began volunteering with our Friends of the Carousel group and soon became an important member of the Silver Beach Carousel family. In the 21 months he spent with us, he distinguished himself through his eager spirit and unstinting devotion to every part of our operation.
Tom was our lead operator’s go-to guy for changing light covers. This takes a long time, as changing the covers is a three-step process and the carousel has 1,000 lights. His help was invaluable as the carousel took on a new look for Waikiki Weekend, Mardi Gras, Halloween, and Christmas, among other events.
He was particularly proud of his skill in learning to spin cotton candy from Deb Shermak, our “Cotton Candy Queen,” on the original machine from Silver Beach Amusement Park. In truth, Tom’s occasional distractedness made for some funny times while spinning. Deb remembers he’d take a quick break and after a while, she’d realize he hadn’t returned and would look up, only to see Tom smiling, riding the carousel. She’d wave and smile, and he’d enthusiastically wave back. Quintessential Tom.
He also helped with the “heavy lifting” required when we needed to switch out a figure on the carousel. Tom would fill in for our operators when they needed a quick break and spent many hours assisting our visitors on and off our merry-go-round. He came each time with purpose – and with joy.
Tom would even show up when he wasn’t scheduled, maybe after work or whenever he had some free time to spend with his “family.” For all his work, both in 2010 and 2011, Tom was recognized as a “Top 10” volunteer with Friends of the Carousel at its annual appreciation event.
Tom did what he did from the heart, with the best of intentions and full out. We could not ask for more from a volunteer, or from a friend.
We are saddened to lose another member of our carousel family this year. Thank you for being in our lives, Tom – we will never forget you.