Relay comes full circle

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kapaa High School cheerleaders join others in a high-octane Zumba routine during the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life for the Eastside and North Shore Saturday at Kapaa Beach Park.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Cancer survivors, including Michelle Emura, chair elect of the Kauai Chamber of Commerce board of directors, holding banner far right, are cheered and congratulated on another birthday Saturday during the Relay For Life for the Eastside and North Shore of Kauai at Kapaa Beach Park.

There was a car available for auction and the youth group from All Saints Episcopal Church and Preschool returned to the Relay For Life of East and North Shore Kauai on Saturday at Kapaa Beach Park.

“There was a small group of people who put together the first Relay,” said Mary Williamson, one of the survivors who opened the evening with the Survivors’ Walk. “But we did this in April, and the only problem is that on one year, we had sideways rain. That was 20 years ago, and I’m glad we came back. This is like going full circle.”

Williamson joined the cancer survivors in taking the first lap around a circle created of luminaria remembering those who lost the fight against cancer, and those who survived.

“We had a goal of $50,000 for this Relay,” said Patti Ornellas, American Cancer Society Kauai director.

“It has been pretty up and down. We didn’t know exactly how much people were collecting, let alone the number of teams. We’re just doing what we can.”

More than 18 teams set up camps offering goods and services to raise funds for the ACS.

The Westin Princeville topped the list with more than $5,000 being raised. Sharon Saronitman and Karen Heresa topped the individual fundraising with amounts of more than $1,600 and $1,300, respectively.

The Kapaa Relay went from 3 to 11 p.m.

“We have a lot of entertainment,” Ornellas said. “There no room for any more.”

The next big cancer event is the Breast Cancer Walk hosted by Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital in observance of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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