At halftime of the Hawaii Pacific men’s basketball team’s game against Concordia-Irvine on Monday night, Kathleen and Shawn Steinhoff carried on an annual tradition for the ninth straight year.
Their son, Kameron, tragically passed away on May 18, 2011 in a skateboarding accident. Kameron Steinhoff was a basketball player for HPU. After his passing, the Steinhoff family is still connected to the school’s basketball program. Each year, free helmets are distributed in hopes of preventing a head injury similar to Kameron’s in the future.
“Darren (Vorderbruegge), the HPU coach, he approached us with an idea of distributing helmets in memory of Kameron and to provide safety and education for getting the younger kids,” Shawn Steinhoff said. “When you see them around, none of them really wear helmets. We’re trying to educate them on the importance of wearing a helmet, what it means. Especially to a family when someone gets hurt, they don’t understand what a family goes through. What we’re trying to do is just prevent injuries or serious injuries — death, stuff like that. In Kameron’s memory, we’ve been giving away these helmets for nine years.
“At least they understand what we’re trying to do. I’d like to give out a message that when they come to get a free helmet, it’s not just a trophy, to actually wear it. Don’t just leave it on the shelf, collecting dust. This is actually to help in case you do have an accident. It means more to me when I see on the road and someone’s wearing a helmet.”
On Monday night, new bike, skateboard and moped helmets were given away free of charge. Part of the funding for the helmets comes from ticket sales for HPU sporting events. Donations are also made from T&T Tinting Specialsists Inc., the company Shawn Steinhoff works for.
Kathleen Steinhoff noted that Kameron was 21 years old at the time of his passing. Four year before that, she says her first cousin died at 22 due to a similar accident. “To prevent accidents like that, we want to give away helmets for safety,” she said.
“We’re glad to give it away. Very happy to give it away,” Shawn Steinhoff added. “If it prevents a life from serious injury, that makes us happy.”