Fellowship and fighting cancer

KALAHEO — Maggie Honjo knows about cancer.

“My husband was a survivor,” said Honjo. “I’m a survivor, too. I had cancer — twice — and I got tired of them bothering me, so I just had it taken out. I’m blessed that I’m here today.”

Honjo was one of a dozen ladies from the Kukuiolono Community Association, who gathered for their once-a-month breakfast at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center to work on craft projects for the April 25 American Cancer Society Relay for Life event at the Hanapepe soccer fields.

Renee Takahashi said the ladies are all crafters.

“When we meet, we collect and share,” Takahashi said. “The ladies all have fun with the informal craft of the month, a belated Mardi Gras item, and the Relay for Life luminaria.”

Ora Tashiro said most of the ladies are also members of the Friends of the Hanapepe Public Library and meet for crafts and oshibana, a Japanese art form using leaves and flowers, with AARP members on Wednesdays at the library.

To celebrate the 65th anniversary of the library, they’ll be offering five free make-and-take projects at a craft fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 28 in conjunction with the orchid festival.

Tashiro said the KCA ladies are working on handmade cards, bookmarks, decorative tablets, and gift boxes for the craft fair.

The make-it-and-take-it stations will include luggage tags, decorative Post-Its, Easter baskets, rubber band bracelets, and Milfiori Bead bracelets.

“Since many of the ladies also belong to the Friends, we see each other sometimes twice a week, and more,” Tashiro said.

Matsuba, the newest member of the KCA ladies, was not complaining.

“This is good fellowship,” she said. “We also do community service, and most importantly, we keep our minds active.”

Gloria Matsuba agreed.

“This is only my second time, here,” Matsuba said. “But this is good to meet with friends. It’s kind of like networking.”

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