Family-inspired CHS Drive A Boost To Mustang Tennis Program

Kalaheo athletic director Mark Brilhante (from left), teacher Kisi Haine, Owen Norton (widower of Donna Norton), principal Susan Hummel, Lynn Wells and Kathie Wells with community donations. Photo by Nathalie Walker,

Community Helping School took a swing into sports this fall by collecting tennis racquets and equipment for Kalaheo High School’s athletic program.

The drive culminated in a presentation Oct. 1 on campus where dozens of racquets, balls and other sports supplies were given to the school in memory of Donna Norton. Norton was a longtime Kailua resident and Racquet Club member as well as a friend of CHS director Kathie Wells. She died in February of breast cancer.

The drive got a big boost during the club’s Men’s Night Doubles July 22-Aug. 4, Wells explained. “We asked every night of the tournament, and we got over 30 racquets,” she recalled, giving volunteer Lynn Wells credit as chief organizer and promoter. “Some racquets have been strung and the handles rewrapped, plus they gave us used tennis balls.” There were enough to donate several more racquets to Hokulani Elementary School in Honolulu as well. (They could use a few more, she noted.)

“We presented 20 jump ropes, 10 soccer balls, six volleyballs, six basketballs, 10 badminton racquets and some tennis balls,” she said. “We are so appreciative of all the support and efforts from the club and from Linda Piatelli (Norton’s cousin) who spearheaded this donation from Donna’s relatives back East.

“I think this was a true example of the community coming together to help our public schools.”

Lynn Wells (no relation) said the Norton family also contributed to the sports effort, and that the high school is redoing its tennis courts, “so it’s good timing.”

For more information or to offer help or more items to the cause, visit