Fundraiser supports cancer resource center in Kona
KAILUA-KONA — Superheros and villains, food, music, massages, haircuts, a silent auction and more came to the Makaeo Events Pavilion Saturday at Old Kona Airport Park for the 10th annual Community Cares Fundraiser.
Event organizer Tiana Steinberg, owner of Tiana’s Avon and Wigs in the Old Industrial Area, hosts the fundraiser every January to help raise money to supply the Community Cares Cancer Resource Center and Wig Closet in her shop.
“Cancer patients request items, but we need funds to supply them,” Steinberg said. “This is the way we get the funds.
“We are making sure gals and guys are aware that our facility is here. With that in mind, when they get here we want to make sure we have something to offer them.
“We are sometimes left out of the equation with cancer. With cancer, the journey takes away body strength and health, and on top of that it takes their hair. Many women have told me that they would rather have their breasts taken than lose their hair.”
In addition to fundraising, local organizations set up booths as a community outreach.
Gerald Lucena has volunteered during the fundraiser for three years.
“I love Tiana, She really works hard for the community,” he said. “She gives from the heart, and I like helping people who do. This is how communities survive. It brings people together.”
A special message from Gov. David Ige was read by Abby Au:
“The Cancer Resource Center closes the gap created by the closing of West Hawaii’s American Cancer Society. It is the only resource left for cancer patients in West Hawaii.” The message went on to praise Steinberg for her efforts the past 10 years.
Comic book artist Bryan Revell of Hilo shared his art during the event.
“I wanted to come and support the cause,” he said. “I like doing drawing for cures because I lost my dad to cancer.”
Steinberg said the fundraiser also supports the philosophy, “If I look good, I feel better.”
“I’ve had patients come in (to the Cancer Resource Center) walking with a cane,” she said. “When they put a wig on that they love, they leave the cane there on their way out. Those are chicken-skin moments.
“That and the smiles. That’s everything.”
Kristen Younges gives a massage to a patron at the 10th annual Community Cares fundraiser.