Fundraising successful for Aleizha Ho’opai
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It was a wonderful turnout for the Ho’opai family this past Saturday, April 13, as more than 200 people supported the fundraising for Aleizha Ho’opai. It was a kid’s rodeo fundraiser, held to generate funds for 4-year-old Aleizha, who has suffered from a urinary disorder from birth.
“We didn’t expect to have this kind of turnout,” said Velma De Luz, self-called “Hanai Auntie” who helped coordinate the event. “We raised about $20,000!”
The Ho’opai fundraiser was held at the Anderson Arena in Waimea where seven bands played music, youth enjoyed a mini rodeo and games, and a adults participated in a raffle. De Luz said there were quite a few people who came from off island, and that people from the mainland were sending in checks because of posts about Aleizha on Facebook.
Aleizha was born to Milette and Shane Ho’opai in 2010, but at 2 1/2 years old, she began experiencing urinary issues. Specialists on both the Big Island and on Oahu have said they are not capable of performing the required surgery, and are sending the family to a team in Massachusetts.
“They were supposed to go to Ohio, but we received the news that even they aren’t able to help because Aleizha’s situation is so severe,” De Luz explained. “Now we are praying that the team in Boston will give us better news.”
In order to help with the travel expenses and medical costs, many family friends, the community and loved ones helped organize the fundraiser. Among sponsors for the raffle prizes, the Mauna Lani Hotel, Solimene’s Restaurant, C&A Auto and donations from many sympathetic community members helped fill the prize list.
“We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and we want to thank everyone who came out,” De Luz said.