County kicks off Relay For Life fundraising

LIHUE – Tamara Duterte counts the days until she can savor the flavors of a delectable pasta salad created by Barbara Montemayor that will be offered at the next Relay For Life fundraiser by the county team.

“It’s so delicious and I just love it,” Duterte said after a recent fundraiser that netted the county team $2,484.50.

Every year, the team holds three bake sales and a Zumbathon with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward Relay For Life.

The upcoming bake sales are scheduled on Tuesday and March 23. The Zumbathon is set for March 21 at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Many talented local Zumba instructors will be featured at the event including Rockstar Fitness Kauai.

“Our goal this year is to raise $15,000,” said Team Caption Ann Wooton. “It’s ambitious, but we want to challenge ourselves to aim high,”

The county has had a Relay For Life team for many years. Two of the county’s original team members, Brenda Martin and Lynnette Meatoga, lost their battle with cancer and are honored yearly by their county ohana.

“Many of us became involved because of Brenda and Lynnette and also because of having family members and friends who are survivors of cancer,” said Wooton, noting that the county team has expanded to include spouses and children.

This year’s county team is comprised of: Milicent Agena; Jade Battad; Nalani Brun; Carolyn Carveiro; Mari Chan; Eve Domingcil; Donna Gabriel; Debby Gatioan; Pam Cox; Laurie Kelekoma; Theresa Koki; Mona Lee; Rhonda Lizama; and Dale Matsuura.

Other team members include: Montemayor; Moses; Kris Nakamura; Donna Olivas-Kaohi; Jaymison Kaohi; Jolene Silva; Lyle and Vianne Tabata; Soncy Tamashiro; Tamara Duterte; Faith Shiramizu; Wynne Ushigome; and Wooton.

The Fire and Police departments also play key roles in the Relay For Life event.

They handle logistical elements such as set-up, breakdown, and management of a secure area for the accounting committee.

Wooton gets emotional when she talks about the survivors/caregivers’ lap, which takes place at the beginning of every Relay For Life event.

“It always reminds me that I don’t have a lot to complain about in my life, and I should count my blessings every day,” Wooton said.

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