Un­cle Benny Fight­ing On With Friends’ Help

MidWeek Islander (Windward Oahu) - - Front Page - By CAROL CHANG

A fundrais­ing con­cert is planned for Satur­day to help keep the aloha go­ing for Un­cle Benny Kai, the long­time am­bas­sador of aloha at Poly­ne­sian Cul­tural Cen­ter and kupuna at Kahuku El­e­men­tary School.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to noon at PCC, fea­tur­ing a silent auc­tion and en­ter­tain­ment by Te Ha­mata, the Tonga Sis­ters, Wel­don Kekauoha, Miss Aloha Hula 2014 and guest of honor, Benny Kai, fa­ther of six and grand­fa­ther of nine.

For much of the past three years, the Kahuku man has been in and out of hos­pi­tals for chemo treat­ments, a mis­di­ag­no­sis, and fi­nally the ver­dict: lym­phoma cancer. The Kai fam­ily is rais­ing money for its share of a crit­i­cal stem cell trans­plant, plus travel to Ari­zona and re­lated med­i­cal bills, which may amount to $50,000.

Do­na­tions can be made at the door, or via Friends of Un­cle Benny Kai at Bank of Hawaii (98551476) or Wells Fargo (9037960458).

“Dad has al­ways been my best friend, my role model, my su­per­man,” said Olympic soc­cer gold

medal­ist Natasha Kai, “but most of all, he’s my daddy.”

In re­cent times, the el­der Kai has ser­e­naded the Queen’s hospi­tal staff and fel­low cancer pa­tients with his ukulele and joy­ful voice, draw­ing from his three decades of em­cee­ing the PCC luau and play­ing host at its Hawai­ian Vil­lage. Re­call­ing an im­promptu con­cert in April at Queen’s Tower 7 Ewa, Kai said via Face­book: “Some vis­it­ing fam­ily mem­bers came to my room just to sit, lis­ten and en­joy. I was get­ting hugs and kisses from people I didn’t even know. A lit­tle 5-year-old Hawai­ian girl came in and just started to dance the hula … The spirit of the gospel, and the spirit of Aloha is so pow­er­ful!”

For more in­for­ma­tion, call 636- 7101 or visit go­fundme.com.

Un­cle Benny Kai keeps up his rep­u­ta­tion as am­bas­sador of aloha, even while in the cancer ward at The Queen’s Med­i­cal Cen­ter. Here, he per­forms for mem­bers of the Oliv­eros and Pu‘u ohana. A ben­e­fit con­cert to help with his med­i­cal bills — fea­tur­ing the man him­self — is planned for 9 am. to noon May 31 in his home ter­ri­tory at Poly­ne­sian Cul­tural Cen­ter. Photo from Cody Mafatu.

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