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Friends, businesses help cancer patient

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Jean Nakamura of Lihu‘e Fishing Supply shows off a Penn International reel she donated toward the fundraiser for Kalani Telles through Steven Doi.

LIHU‘E — “Two weeks ago, I called Kalani Telles, and he said he was meeting with Kaua‘i Hospice,” said Steven Doi on his social-media site.

“It hit me really hard, and I wondered how I could help.”

Doi said helping people, especially those whom he has a personal tie to, has always been something he likes to do. His conversation with Telles sparked a fundraising effort in his mind.

“Not only that, this thing has gone crazy,” Doi said. “It started out with just one prize — a 65 YETI cooler that I ordered for a prize. This has gone crazy, from one prize to now more than 10. And, I had to order more tickets.”

Doi said on a trip to M. Tanaka Store, he was speaking with Darren Toyofuku, who surprised him with a donation of a stainless-steel, bent-butt, 50-pound class fishing rod.

“Little did I realize that giving for folks in need on our island is so special,” Doi said. “And during these hard times, even more so. Kalani is a great person, husband, father of two, and I am blessed he is my friend.”

Jean Nakamura of Lihu‘e Fishing Supply texted Doi after she found out about the fundraiser, said she knows Kalani and wanted to donate to the fundraiser.

“I told her how every business and people are hurting right now,” Doi said. “But she insisted, and now we have a Penn International 30 Gold reel that’s worth more than $600.”

Nakamura said Telles was a customer, and practically grew up in the shop.

“When he became a fireman, he couldn’t come that often,” Nakamura said. “He’s a really nice guy. In fact, all the firemen and policemen are nice. It’s so good that they all care for each other.”

Doi said Telles has been fighting cancer for “a very long time,” and he personally has donated to many of his friends, and even to people he didn’t know, just to help.

Starting with his personal contribution of a 65 YETI, the list of prizes available has grown to more than 10, including a stainless-steel gaff donated by Stan Kua, and the latest being another YETI being shipped over from O‘ahu.

“I spoke with Barry Brun, and not only did he get a few tickets, he donated a used-but-great reel — a Shimano Gold 80w 2-speed,” Doi said. “It gets even better, because Hank Zeevat, who services Shimano reels, not only serviced Brun’s contributions, he replaced some parts with new parts and loaded the reel with brand new, 130-pound line. That’s almost $700 for the reel, and he also threw in two dressed lures.”

He said people can donate to the fundraiser for a chance at some of the prizes through his Facebook page. A drawing for the prizes that continue to grow will take place on Saturday, Sept. 26, with the winners being posted on the Facebook page on Sunday, Sept. 27.

One hundred percent of any proceeds will go directly to the Telles ‘ohana. Tickets are available by contacting Doi at his Facebook page, or from any of Telles’ co-workers.

“Please donate,” Doi said. “And if you cannot, because there has been a few fundraisers and a Go Fund Me has been done, prayers are most graciously accepted.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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