Lifeguards save young mother in Roanoke

Todd Unger, WFAA

ROANOKE — A young mother is alive thanks to the quick thinking — and even quicker action — of a group of lifeguards at a Hawaiian Falls water park.

Megan Jones was spending a Saturday with her friends and eight-year-old son at the park when she suffered a seizure in the Lazy River.

“I remember seeing their faces when I woke up, but I don’t remember anything else,” she said.

The faces belonged to a team of lifeguards and park employees who helped save the woman.

Lifeguards save young mother in Roanoke

A group of young water park employees was honored by the Roanoke City Council for saving the life of a young woman. (Photo: WFAA)

Joseph Morin jumped into the river when he noticed Jones face down about 20 feet from his post.

“‘I gotta get her and get her now… get to her as soon as possible.’ That is what I was thinking,” the 18-year-old said.

With the help of an unidentified off-duty police officer, Morin pulled the woman to shore.

That’s when 18-year-old Cameron Davis arrived. The emergency medical technician had rushed across the entire park.

“I was just thinking, ‘Is she getting air? And if she is, is it enough to sustain her life?”‘ Davis recalled.

Jones eventually came to, and was treated at the scene.

At Tuesday night’s Roanoke City Council meeting, an entire team of Hawaiian Falls personnel — including Morin, Davis and lifeguards Brendan O’Malley and Hannah Decker — were honored for their work two weeks ago.

Megan Jones also made a surprise appearance, hugging and thanking the crew who helped rescue her.

“I’m just so grateful,” she said.

Read More and Video Here»

Hawaiian Falls gives special needs families exclusive access to the water parks

Story and photos by David Alvey.

Hawaiian Falls gives special needs families exclusive access to the water parks

Caleb Kirkwood (L), Lisa Kirkwood (Mom-center) and Frankie Kirkwood (R) enjoy the wavepool at Hawaiian Falls The Colony for Champions Day Tuesday, August 4.


DALLAS, TX.  (August 5, 2015) Hawaiian Falls hosted Champions Day at all five of its North Texas water parks for children and adults with special needs or medical issues. The “Champions” (individuals with special needs) were admitted free. Family members and caregiver were offered discounted tickets.

Lisa Kirkwood of The Colony commented that her special needs daughter Frankie, 30,  wouldn’t be there on a regular operating day because the normal hustle and bustle would be overly stimulating. Mrs. Kirkwood said Frankie came rushing over after riding the first slide and said she’d already made a new friend. Read More»

Fallen heroes remembered at North Texas waterpark

Philip Townsend, WFAA

The Hawaiian Falls water park in White Settlement is typically a good place to cool off from the heat. But for families there on Wednesday, it was a place to make new memories after dealing with tragedy.

WHITE SETTLEMENT — There were all the elements of a perfect day at Hawaiian Falls in White Settlement Wednesday.

Slides, splashes and laughter were impossible to miss Wednesday afternoon. But for Amy Weatherford and her three boys, it represented so much more.

“We’re making new memories,” 12-year-old Chris Weatherford said. “It’s pretty cool.” Read More»

Coffee with Jon and David Busch

Hawaiian Falls CEO David Busch

David Busch joins leaders like The Cathy Family (Chick-Fil-A) and The Green Family (Hobby Lobby) in vocally and explicitly using his business to build the Kingdom

If you want to learn how to use your Workplace Ministry, you’ll want to join us for Coffee With Jon and David Busch.

Take a break, and join us for a cup of coffee. Read More»

I am passionate about solving important problems, developing and implementing big-picture strategies, and leading and influencing others.

I maximize others through empowerment and encouragement

Memorial donation to provide swim lessons at Hawaiian Falls

Waco Tribune-Herald

Kay Van Wey (left), owner of Van Wey Law, presents a check to Hawaiian Falls general manager Shawn Welch (right). With them are Lynn Anderson (second from left) and Cassandra Calhoun, both of Waco, the grandparents of Sir’Lemuel Calhoun. Photo by Ken Sury.

Hawaiian Falls Waco waterpark received a $5,000 donation from Dallas-based Van Wey Law in memory of a young drowning victim.

The financial gift, which is designated for water safety, will enable Hawaiian Falls to offer free swim lessons Aug. 3-13 for disadvantaged children ages 3 to 13.

Kay Van Wey, a personal injury attorney and owner of Van Wey Law, represented Yoshicka Calhoun, the mother of 12-year-old drowning victim Sir’Lemuel Calhoun, in a lawsuit after Sir’Lemuel drowned at an area park in June 2014.

Van Wey presented the check to Hawaiian Falls Waco general manager Shawn Welch, who said Hawaiian Falls has hosted swim lessons for years and makes water safety a priority.

“We want to support organizations like Hawaiian Falls that create and promote a culture of safety,” Van Wey said.

Mission Waco is working with Hawaiian Falls to identify and reach out to families in need of the free swim lessons.

To register for the free lessons, contact Welch at or 892-0222.

Splash Out Cancer: Team Connor Helps Kids Fighting Cancer

CW33 NewsFix


THE COLONY, TX — Nothing says summer like a trip to a water park, but this wasn’t just another fun in the sun day. The Fourth Annual Splash Out Childhood Cancer slid into Hawaiian Falls in the Colony.

The event is put on by the Team Connor Childhood Cancer Foundation, named for Connor Cruse, who died of neuroblastoma when he was just eight.

“It’s so inspiring that Connor’s life meant something. Connor didn’t die for nothing,” said Carolyn Alvey, the board president of Team Connor.

It’s been six years since Connor passed away, but his legacy can be seen in the life of six-year-old Charlie, who is fighting Leukemia.

“Charlie was diagnosed when he was three,” his mother Lacy Gladu said. “So, we’ve been dealing with this for several year now, and we still have one more year to go of Chemo. He’s doing really great, but it’s definitely a challenge.”

A challenge that Team Connor is helping them take head on.

“Team Connor is a fantastic organization because they are really making a difference in the lives of kids because no family should ever have to deal with these kinds of problems,” said Gladu.

It’s a hard fight for sure, but it’s one they plan on winning.

And thanks to the life and inspiration of Connor Cruse, Charlie and thousands of other kids just like him, have a better chance of splashing out cancer for good.

Original Article Here

Hawaiian Falls White Settlement adds Waikiki Wipeout Zone

By David Alvey
Jul 15, 2015

Teens playing on the Meltdown in the Waikiki Wipeout Zone

Hawaiian Falls Water Park & Adventure Park in White Settlement has added the Waikiki Wipeout Zone to challenge kids and young adults. I recently took a 12-year-old and a pair of 15-year-old boys to try out the new attractions.

The Waikiki Wipeout Zone features three inflatable challenge courses:
• Kapow is a circular, multiplayer obstacle course with two unique sets of rotating boom arms. One arm is designed to hit players about thigh level, spinning counterclockwise, while the other rotating arm spins in the opposite direction aiming for the players’ chest, both designed to knock over the players. At the start of the race, both contenders begin in their own lanes, each dodging the rotating boom arms and other challenging inflatable obstacles. Since the course is designed in a circular maze, each contender doubles back on themselves three times. Kapow tests a players agility as well as stamina as they attempt to beat their opponent.

• Meltdown can accommodate up to eight players per game in a challenge of agility, stamina and reaction time. With two rotating boom arms, each contender must make split-second decisions to either duck beneath the arm or attempt to jump over it. The suspense increases with each rotation of the arms and with rapid changes in speed and direction. Who will be the last one standing?

• Toxic Rampage is a 2-person race through seven sets of challenges that each contender must overcome in order to be the winner, culminating by climbing Meltdown Mountain and sliding down the other side.

The cost for the Waikiki Wipeout Zone is $5 for two attractions or $10 for unlimited play. Fortunately, I had the foresight to choose unlimited play because the boys wanted to go again and again. Finally, after they played on the Waikiki Wipeout Zone for over an hour, we went into the Adventure Park, which offers a multi-level Family Adventure Trail with nine rope bridges and five towers; a 70-foot high, 1000-foot long Zip Line; a three-level Ropes Challenge Course with 45 different activities; a six-story Free Fall; 30-foot Climbing Wall; and 30-foot Cargo Net Climb.

The Adventure Park activities are all included in the price of admission for the Water Park (regular $26.99 per person.) Since my boys have season passes, there was no extra charge for any of the water park or adventure park attractions.

After tackling all 15 different ropes activities on each of the three levels, ranging from two-feet to 60-feet off the ground for a total of 45 distinct challenges, the boys climbed a 60-foot tower and each jumped off the six-story Free Fall, which lets you experience the sensation of free falling several stories before the auto-belay system engages and gently lowers you to the ground.

Even after all those adrenaline-pumping attractions, the boys wanted to return to play on Waikiki Wipeout Zone for another half hour before cooling off in the Lazy River. Then, after about an hour of playing in the water park, they begged me to return to the Waikiki Wipeout Zone for another few rounds.

On the ride home, I asked the boys which were their favorite activities. While they rated the Ropes Challenge Course number one, they all agreed the Waikiki Wipeout Zone was worth the trip even if they hadn’t done all the other fun activities.

Check out this short video of the Waikiki Wipeout Zone at

More at

Hawaiian Falls White Settlement is located near the intersection of Clifford Street and N. Las Vegas Trail, next to Veteran’s Park, two miles north of Interstate 30 off of Loop 820.

Hawaiian Falls operates water parks in Garland, The Colony, Mansfield, Roanoke and Waco. In addition, Hawaiian Falls has combination water park – adventure park – event centers in Pflugerville and White Settlement. More info at or

Hawaiian Falls Offers Free Tickets To Heroes

Hawaiian Falls will honor active duty military members, veterans and first responders withHeroes Week, July 5 – 10, 2015, at all seven Texas water parks and adventure parks. The Heroes, including military, firefighters, police and emergency medical personnel will be admitted free Sunday through Friday, July 5 – 10, with a valid ID card and a coupon, which can downloaded at The heroes’ family members can purchase discounted tickets for $19.99 each (regularly $26.99) at the front gate of any of the seven parks. Read More»

Texas Staycation Fun in the Sun

Courtney Solstad – My Crazy Savings

If you live in Texas, then you will want to road trip this summer to Pflugerville! It’s just North of Austin…so you you can head into town and explore Austin in the evening. During the day, you will want to park it at Hawaiian Falls.


The Pflugerville Hawaiian Falls location is perfect for some fun in the sun! Not only can you enjoy the awesome slides, lazy river and wave pool, but you can also make some great memories on the ropes course and ziplines! Read More»

Hawaiian Falls hosts Champions Day for special needs families

North Texas e-News
By David Alvey
Jun 26, 2015
Hawaiian Falls hosts Champions Day for special needs familiesHawaiian Falls hosted Champions Day June 20 at all of its seven Texas water parks to bless families of individuals with special needs. The “Champions” (special needs children and adults) got in free with one family member or caregiver accompanying them for only $5 while additional immediate family members were offered discounted tickets. More importantly, the Champions and their families had special access to the parks before they opened to the public.
“Several guests told us it was their child’s first visit to a waterpark,” said Clint Hill, regional director of the five North Texas parks. “People with sensory issues can have a hard time processing all the stimulus of a waterpark on a normal day. So we turn our music way down during this special time, and we ask our staff to be more patient and a lot more lenient with their whistles to accommodate their special needs. We also bring in more staff so the ratio per guest is more favorable.”Hawaiian Falls hosts Champions Day for special needs familiesHawaiian Falls will host Champions Day again Tuesday, August 4. The Champions will once be admitted free. One accompanying family member or caregiver per Champion will have the opportunity to purchase a discounted ticket for $5 (regular admission $26.99) with a Champions Day coupon available at . Additional immediate family members can purchase discounted tickets for $19.99 each. The Champions and their families will once again have exclusive use of the park from 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. The parks will open to the public 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Season pass holders always get in 30 minutes before the public. The Champions and caregivers can stay all day or leave whenever they choose.

“More than one guest told me they wouldn’t be able to come without this offer,” explained Hill. “Whether they stay an hour or end up spending all day can depend on a lot of unpredictable factors. We’ve held Champions Days for several years now but it still brings tears of joy to our eyes to see how much enjoyment the families get out of these special times. It truly exemplifies our core mission of bringing families closer together.”