Windward Gets Ready For July 7 Cancer Relay


The American Cancer Society will stage its Windward Relay For Life from 6 p.m. July 7 to 6 a.m. July 8 on the Kailua High School athletic field, offering an overnight fundraiser that celebrates cancer survivors, honors those who’ve died and raises money to fight back.

Teams currently are being organized in the Kaneohe, Kailua and Waimanalo communities, said intern-volunteer Kainoa Inafuku. “Because cancer never sleeps,” he said, “teams are asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the relay to emulate the cancer survivor’s journey.” Members camp out for 12 hours while participating in on-site activities.

The Celtic Pipes of Hawaii will play for a special cancer survivors and caregivers’ lap during the opening ceremonies.

Inafuku said he volunteers with American Cancer Society because of the impact the disease has had on his family, noting that the annual Relay for Life “is a great opportunity for members of the community who have been touched by cancer to see and feel the support of their community and realize that they are not fighting alone.”

Participants also are invited to honor a loved one by purchasing luminaria, which are on sale now for a minimum $5 donation at the ACS office in Nuuanu or at the event. The battery-operated candle bags will be lit in a special ceremony during the event. Also planned is entertainment by the Steel Rhythms Band, Zumba, MUVE dancing, a country store, silent auction and keiki activities.

“Everyone involved will enjoy the night and leave engaged, knowing that they made a difference in the fight against cancer,” Inafuku said.

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The Windward relay usually has the support of more than 100 volunteers, but Michelle Hashimoto, community manager of income development, said she still is recruiting more help. To join the cause, call her at 432-9144.