Gearing up for ‘Relay for Life’

[]By DENNIS FUJIMOTO[]TGI Staff Photographer

WAILUA – The Smith ‘ohana of Smith’s Tropical Paradise and Motor Boats got some

help from Kapua Sugai, a fifth grader at Kapa’a Elementary School, as they took

turns manning a table sheltered from brisk tradewinds by a canvas tent on

Sunday at the Smith’s Motor Boats parking lot across the Coco Palms


Moki (as in Mokihana) Smith was busy checking the inventory of items

that were neatly laid out on tables while clothing danced on a rack as it

caught the breeze that kept things cool.

The event was designed as a fund

raiser for the upcoming “Relay for Life” hosted by the American Cancer Society

scheduled for April 29 at the Kapa’a Beach Park.

“This is our first year,”

Kahanu Smith said.

“Kamika, our son, did it last year, and he convinced

us to enter a team for the event this year,” Moki explained.


Kapua took advantage of a lull in customer traffic to munch on some chips while

hungrily eyeing a pack of hot dogs and buns.

“It was busy when we first

opened,” Melissa Sugai, Kapua’s mom said. “That was about nine. There were a

lot of people, and a lot of visitors who bought things.”

“This is her

community service,” Melissa explained.

“Following this, she goes to

Nawiliwili to dance for the Independence’s arrival. That’s also part of her

community service.”

Kapua is one of Na Hula O Kaohikukapulani hula students

who is working towards accompanying their kumu Kapu Kinimaka-Alquiza to Japan

in June, and these community service projects are an integral part of

fulfilling the trip requirements.

As a car drove up to the parking lot, the

snacks were quickly and discretely put away and Kapua turned her attention to

the cash box and taking care of a purchase by a visiting O’ahu couple, Fulvio

Fonda and Sandy Martin who quickly found 50-cent sandals a bargain.


explained that the event was multi-faceted as the ‘ohana had gathered to make

laulau and this was the pickup day.

Kahanu was responsible for that

aspect of the “garage sale,” and disappeared into a neighboring shed to gather

the hot morsels as a team member produced tickets for three laulau. The aroma

that wafted through the tent brought out Kapua’s snacks again.


customers were coming to pick up laulau, this was an opportunity for a rummage

sale, and the inventory that was available came from five families, Melissa

explained. Another visiting couple eyed an autographed baseball that sat

proudly on a pedestal, its stately white coat protected by a plastic


Alongside the cash box, a supply of labels for luminaries waited for

customers as Moki explained that people could buy these luminaries that will be

placed on paper lanterns lit up for the “Relay of Life” event on April 29.

These luminaries are intented to remember someone who has succumbed in their

battle against cancer.

A trip for two from Honolulu to either Los Angeles

or San Francisco was yet another item that customers had a chance to win for a

nominal donation.

“Or, they may just come and give a donation,” Moki

chuckled at the variety of items that were available under the small tarped


The Smith’s team will have twenty people if they all show up, Moki

said. And, in addition to doing the walking relay, the group is already

anticipating a night filled with homegrown entertainment from the crew that

provides entertainment on the Fern Grotto tours.

“We’ll even have hula,”

Kahanu said.

For more information on the upcoming “Relay for Life” event,

people may contact the American Cancer Society, and if there is anyone who

missed the “garage sale,” there is discussion about the possibility of having

another event sometime in April.

Before the 29th, of course.


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