HANAPEPE — Team Kukui‘ula potted up more than $22,000 as the leading fundraising team, Saturday during the Relay for Life benefiting the American Cancer Society at the Hanapepe soccer fields.
“And, they’re not done, yet,” said Maka Herrod, the event’s emcee. “They’re still raising money.”
Team Kukui‘ula offered its starter plants and a host of food items as well as coffee during the night-long event that started with the Survivors Walk, Saturday afternoon and continued through 6 a.m., Sunday.
“Everyone wants coffee — especially late at night,” said Shelly Gerardo of Team Kukui‘ula. “We’re not closing down the coffee shop. It’s going to be open all the way through.”
Walkers passing the Team Kukui‘ula tent stopped when the parade of survivors passed by under a rainbow that struggled for life in the light mist drifting down from the Kalaheo plateau.
Eyes turned skyward as a Maverick helicopter sidled over the Hanapepe Bay, drifting inland with the strong winds that toyed with the banners and streamers in the encampment. As the caravan of survivors neared the completion of a lap around the luminaria, floral petals, bouganvillea and fragrant plumeria melded with the raindrops to welcome the survivors.
“This was a complete surprise,” said Patti Ornellas, the Kauai American Cancer Society’s senior community manager. “We didn’t tell anyone about this. Mahalo to Liane Pestrella of Maverick Helicopters for this thrilling surprise.”
Laurie Tateishi, quietly dispensing goodies at the West Kauai Hongwanji Mission tent, was touted as the top individual fundraiser on the ACS Relay website. She is credited with raising more than $6,400 toward the overall goal of $211,000.
The Relay for Life is an event of celebration and remembrance for people affected by cancer. This year’s theme was “You’ve got a Friend,” and Wes Perreira was the big friend, serving as the event lead.
The American Cancer Society next hosts the Relay for Life of East and North Shore Kauai on Aug. 10 with a goal of $50,000.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.