Fun with a purpose

KAPAA — Sarah Manuel, Miss Paradise Kauai, has a pageant coming up in a couple of weeks.

You’d think she’d be concentrating on that big event, said Therese Jasper, one of Manuel’s pageant coaches.

Instead, Manuel collected all the beauty queens she could find and hosted a fun bike, walk, or run 5k Sunday at the Kapaa Beach Park to raise funds for the Children’s Miracle Network.

“She should be worrying about the pageant,” Jasper said. “But she said this is something she needed to do, so I’m here representing the sun tan lotion line created by my daughter Jory because Sarah said she needed vendors.”

More than a 100 people gathered at the park by the multi-use path to browse through crafters’ wares, enjoy entertainment provided by K&L Music, Kyle LaBenz and Lourn R. Hess, as well as admire the collection of reigning royalty beauties.

“She approached me last Saturday when we were helping with the survivors’ sashes at the Relay for Life,” said Isabel Gampon, who trekked in from Lawai. “I wasn’t doing anything, so I’m here helping her.”

Manuel said her goal was to raise at least $1,000 dollars, which she will present to the Children’s Miracle Network.

“This is something I just have to do,” the beauty queen heading to the Miss Hawaii pageant said. “I’ve been on the other side of the fence and know what it feels like. I know what I experienced through the help of the Children’s Miracle Network, and this event is to give back so others can share in good experiences.”

Bobby Thompson, a Kauai police officer, brought his family to enjoy the event.

“I got the weekend off,” Thompson said. “So we’re doing the family thing — the St. Catherine carnival, KIF volleyball on Saturday, the fun event today.”

Manuel will be competing at the Miss Hawaii Scholarship pageant May 22-31 on Oahu.

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