By Simplicio Paragas
When her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago, Danielle Scherman decided to move back to Hawaii. In between treatments and appointments, the Kailua native learned what cancer patients endured, and empathized with their process to recovery and survival.
As a way to give back to Castle Medical Center’s Oncology Clinic, she founded “Cool Kailua Nights,” a block party that focuses on health and wellness. “We had 20 vendors the first year and some entertainment,” Scherman recalls. “It totally floored me when 5,000 people showed up when I was only expecting about 500 to 1,000 people.”
The event has since grown larger with increasing participation among vendors, artists and entertainers. This year, Scherman has an ambitious plan to have 60 vendors take part in the October 12 community bash, which will again be held in the parking lot of Whole Foods.
“We’ll use every nook and cranny of the parking lot,” Scherman says. “We’ll have a dunking booth again, a wine tent, Keiki Corner and lots of food booths.”
Monies raised will be distributed between Castle Medical Center’s Oncology Clinic and the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii Windward Clubhouse, which helps provide a safe environment for kids (7 to 17 years of age) to learn and grow.
“Last year, the kids helped run the dunking booth and also staged a hula troupe,” says Maureen Purington, director of the Winward Clubhouse. “The money we receive from this event helps run our programs; so we’re grateful for that.”
Highlights from last year’s event included a fashion show featuring clothing from local Kailua vendors, a doggie fashion show, a dunk tank and performances by one of Hawaii’s top musical groups, Kapena, which returns this year along with Augie T., and radio personalitieis Davey D. and Lina Girl.
“Kaneohe Ranch looks forward to again sponsoring this successful community event,” says Kimo Steinwascher, executive vice president and Kaneohe Ranch COO. “We hope to see even more of our Windward friends at this year’s Cool Kailua Nights.”
For more information, visit coolkailuanights.com.