LIHUE — The YWCA of Kauai will host the 12th annual “Never Forget Sandy G” golf tournament Aug. 4 at The Ocean Course at Hokuala.
The event aims to raise awareness about domestic violence.
“It means a lot. It’s a good opportunity for us to continue our outreach efforts and community education efforts,” said Renae Hamilton-Cambeilh, YWCA of Kauai executive director. “Especially with a golf tournament, we reach maybe a different audience that wouldn’t come to maybe another typical event for us. We’re really happy for the success of the tournament all these years. I think with some of the resolutions of Sandy’s case, it remains an opportunity for us to focus the community on ongoing issues with domestic violence here on Kauai.”
The namesake of the golf tournament, Sandra Galas (maiden name Mendonca), was found dead in her home in Eleele in January 2006. A medical report stated she died from strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head. She was 27.
In 2018, her estranged husband Darren Galas pleaded no contest to a reduced charge and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Hamilton-Cambeilh said she was the principal of St. Catherine School in Kapaa when Galas was a student.
“Sandy was an amazing young woman. You could tell, even at a young age, she had this bright personality — optimistic, outgoing, kind of a natural leader,” Hamilton-Cambeilh said. “People just wanted to be around her. She also had this kind, compassionate side.
“There were several instances that sticks out of my mind of watching Sandy reach out to her fellow students and helping out with them, just being a good friend and a good peer. When Kauai lost Sandy, they lost a very gifted young woman — someone who had so many talents and just a good person.”
In addition to wanting to keep Galas’ memory alive, Hamilton-Cambeilh said this year’s event will also serve to remember another local case of violence.
“This year, we’re going to invite folks who have been very active in wanting to keep Amber Jackson’s case going,” she said. “There’s a strong connection between the Mendonca family and that group. We’re going to continue to highlight unsolved cases as well as wanting to prevent these things from happening again in the future.”
In June 2010, Jackson’s remains were found by local pig hunters in a remote location in Kealia, Hawaii News Now reported. No arrests have been made to this day.
Jackson, who was 57 at the time of her death, worked for the Hawaii State Teachers Association in Kapaa.
To register for the tournament or to apply as a sponsor, visit www.ywcakauai.org. Cost is $120 per player and will be raised to $125 after July 31.
The tournament format is a four-person modified scramble. Check-ins will start 6:30 a.m. the morning of the tournament, and shotgun start is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. A luncheon will follow.
Proceeds will benefit the YWCA of Kauai. Hamilton-Cambeilh said the tournament typically raises around $12,000 to $15,000.
“It helps basically pay electric bills and help to buy food for residents at the shelter,” Hamilton-Cambeilh said. “It helps pay phone bills of our crisis line. This is unrestricted money, so we put it where we need it. If a resident needs a gas card to take their kids to school, or something, we have the flexibility to really meet unique needs of our clients with that kind of funding.”
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.