KAPAA — Justin Kollar, Kauai prosecuting attorney, has been walking for multiple sclerosis since before he even came to Kauai.
“I used to walk with MS when I lived in Honolulu,” Kollar said Saturday at Kapaa Beach Park. “My little brother has MS, and I did it to support him.”
Kollar was one of more than 200 walkers who turned out for the National MS Society Saturday during the Kauai MS Sunset Stroll.
Walkers started from the registration point using facilities set up by the Kauai Christian Fellowship ohana for its Easter services and walked along Ke Ala Hele Makalae multi-use path, picking up poker hands at various stations set up along the stroll route.
“We were in Safeway and heard about this on the radio,” said Ricci Casserly of Mississippi. “Then we saw the sign while we were driving by and I said, ‘Why not do this walk?’”
Casserly and her husband Ed do the walk in Jacksonville, Mississippi, each year.
“We got here Friday,” Ed Casserly said. “The Jacksonville walk is next Saturday, but we’ll still be here.”
Ricci Casserly said she lives with multiple sclerosis.
“I was diagnosed with MS about 20 years ago,” Ricci Casserly said. “At the time I was diagnosed, I couldn’t walk or talk. Today, with the advances in medication and technology, I can do both.”
Multiple sclerosis is a disease which interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body, preventing people from moving, and sometimes making impossible a simple task like walking.
Tiffany Lynch, the MS senior director for the Walk MS, flew in from California to help local organizers, including Laurie Hokama, Cynthia Edralin, Mary Kay Hertog, Krystal Morinaka and others, with the Kauai event.
“Last year, Kauai raised more than $50,000 which was the largest amount raised by a county in Hawaii,” Lynch said. “We had more than 200 walkers participating. This year, our goal for Kauai is $60,000. We expect more than 200 people again. With the proceeds generated from the silent auction, it appears that Kauai is in good shape for its goal.”
Proceeds from the Walk MS Sunset Stroll go toward client programs to improve the lives of the 800 people living with MS in Hawaii.
Among the fundraising efforts, Chico Edralin released a CD featuring himself and his son Lance.
“Five dollars for each CD sold is donated to MS,” Chico Edralin said. “But the most important thing is that I got to record this with my son. Now, if anything happens, I have this as something I did with my son.”
Walkers enjoyed the evening with entertainment, a silent auction and food prepared by Jaime Arreola and a crew from Duke’s Canoe Club of Kauai.