‘Don’t you forget about me’

KAPAA — “Don’t you forget about me” is a line taken from “The Breakfast Club” soundtrack. These days, it is being flashed about Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital.

“It’s so applicable to everything we do,” said Josie Pablo, Mahelona’s recreation director. “It applies to cancer, and more appropriately for us, our kupuna.”

Orders for a special shirt with the slogan are being taken at the hospital to benefit the SMMH/Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital Relay for Life team.

“We’ll be walking on April 25 at the Relay for Life in Hanapepe,” Pablo said.

“Our maintenance guys are also walking and are working on a special ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ cutout which people can use for photos.”

A special fundraising sale was held Friday to help Pablo with team fundraising efforts.

“Our goal is to raise $1,000 for American Cancer Society,” Pablo said. “But more importantly, after I found out one of our people was walking alone during last year’s Relay, I felt so bad and said ‘We not only have employees who fight cancer. We have residents who have cancer. They need support from the people who love them.’ This year, our first year with a team, we already have 10 residents who signed up to walk.”

Pablo said the team’s theme is borrowed from the Mahelona Breakfast Club which started about five years ago when she encouraged residents to get out of bed and enjoy breakfast.

Pablo said hospital staff members and retirees were encouraged to contribute materials for the fund-raising sale, which resulted in a wave of people swarming for the home-made bargains.

“Jamie Yasutake brought over a lot of protea and greens so the sale wouldn’t be so drab,” Pablo said. “The only problem was that everything, 17 arrangements which were supposed to go on the walls and railings, sold out the day before the sale.”

Other contributors included Cost U Less, which donated chicken for bentos — which also sold out — and Pono Market, which donated 70 fresh laulau. Many of the laulau had tabs placed on them while they were still being cooked in the cafeteria.

Pablo credits her fellow cohorts — Sharla Hasegawa and Elaine Morita — with providing the spark and igniting projects that get everyone involved.

“These are the special people,” Pablo said. “I couldn’t do anything without them. This is where everything starts.”

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