2020 Hope Gala and the fight against cancer
by Darcy Endo-Omoto | Nov. 1, 2020
Aloha, my name is Darcy Endo-Omoto and I wanted to share my story with you. I am the current Chair of the Board of Directors of American Cancer Society Hawaii Pacific and served as a volunteer member of the Board for the past 10 years. I have been committed in the fight for cancer for quite some time. My father passed away from Multiple Myeloma and my mom and my sister are cancer survivors. I truly know how it feels when a family member is dealing with cancer.
As the vice president of government and community affairs at Hawaiian Electric, our company has been a long-time supporter of the American Cancer Society and committed to the Hope Lodge since Hawaii first received approval for the first facility of its kind in the Western region.
Hope Lodge located on Oahu, provides cancer patients and their families free lodging and support, which allows cancer patients to focus on their treatment and recovery instead of worrying about travel, housing, and associated costs. Since opening in November 2016, it has served over 900 patients from the neighbor islands, Guam and across the Pacific, offering free lodging to patients receiving life-saving treatment on Oahu.
Cancer hits close to home for many families and ensuring a place like Hope Lodge Hawaii exists for loved ones challenged with access to treatment helps to make the community a better place. In 2013–14, the Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) and its subsidiaries and employees contributed more than $100,000 towards Hope Lodge Hawaii’s capital campaign.
To assist with fundraising, Hawaiian Electric employees partnered with popular fashion design house Manuhealii to produce an exclusive line of reusable shopping bags featuring a custom kukui graphic. The kukui served as the symbol of Hope Lodge Hawaii, signifying hope and renewal for cancer patients and their families. Employees who made a donation to Hope Lodge Hawaii received a shopping bag, and proceeds from the donations were matched by the HEI Charitable Foundation.
The response from employees on Hawaii Island, Maui County, and Oahu to support the cause was truly inspiring, with some employees sharing their personal experiences, or that of a loved one, in the fight against cancer to help raise awareness about Hope Lodge Hawaii. In addition, employees volunteered their time at various community events to help fundraise.
To continue these efforts, I am chairing the 2020 annual Hope Gala fundraising event. Originally, it was scheduled in May at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel but was cancelled due to COVID-19. In place of the in-person dinner gala, the Board is spearheading an online auction fundraiser the week of Oct. 30, starting 8 a.m. HST, through Nov. 6, closing at 8 p.m. HST. This virtual event is open to the public.
This event is a wonderful opportunity for you to make a meaningful impact on our community and also get some great deals and gifts for the holidays. Please check out ACS’s online Hope Lodge Auction and join us for our 2020 Hope Gala Honolulu. Here are some of highlights for our virtual event:
Barry Taniguchi, Chairman of the Board and CEO of KTA Super Stores, is being honored in memoriam as the ACS Beacon of Hope awardee for his leadership and support for the American Cancer Society and Hope Lodge Hawaii. The Beacon of Hope recognizes an individual in our community who provides significant contributions in the areas of patient care, advocacy, and access to care.
Exciting silent auction items, including:
- San Francisco Package: 2 Owners Seats at Giants Home Game, 2 nights at The Palace Hotel, and airfare
- 2-night stay at the Downtown Grand in Las Vegas
- Pride of America: 7-day Hawaii cruise
- Surfjack Penthouse Staycation
- 2-night stay at the Four Seasons Hualalai + round of golf for 2
- 3-night Waimea, Hawaii Staycation: Lodging at Holo Holo Ku, 30,000 HawaiianMiles, and car rental
- 2-night Kauai Staycation: Kauai Marriott, 30,000 HawaiianMiles, and car rental
- Virtual meet-n-greet with UH Men’s Basketball Coach Eran Ganot + basketball autographed by the team
- Spa, dining, jewelry, art, an assortment of wines and spirits, and more!
100% of the proceeds will benefit the Clarence T.C. Ching Hope Lodge. Of course, this event would not be possible without the support of sponsors. Many thanks to Hawaiian Electric, Hawaiian Electric Industries, American Savings Bank, The Queen’s Health Systems, City Mill Company, Ltd and all of the sponsors and donors who make Hope Lodge a haven for our community members dealing with cancer.
Darcy Endo-Omoto is the vice president of government & community affairs at Hawaiian Electric Company.