Inspire 2023

Kapiolani: A Totally Awesome Soirée

Kapiolani Health Foundation board members Dr. Angela Pratt, Shelley Wilson and Shelley Cramer.

The highway to the danger zone was open for all. Guests decked out in neon hues, high tops, fanny packs and pounds of hairspray strolled past the DeLorean parked in front of the flux capacitor and into the past.

Castle & Cooke Aviation's hangar.

Welcome to the Kapiolani Soirée. Welcome “Back to the ‘80s.”

The signature gala of Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children returned in November 2022 for the first time since 2019. Castle & Cooke Aviation’s tricked-out hangar hosted giant Rubik’s Cubes, roller skate centerpieces, a scrunchie-laden beauty bar and hundreds of donors brought together for an inspiring cause — Kapiolani’s new cancer and infusion center.

During dinner by MW Restaurant, guests learned more about the need for the new center through touching stories of women and children who received life-changing cancer care at Kapiolani.

One of the most heartfelt moments followed a video about Cruz Bitanga, a 7-year-old boy who had his leg amputated as part of his treatment for the bone cancer osteosarcoma.  Those at the Soirée — including Cruz’s doctor, pediatric oncologist Dr. Darryl Glaser — were asked to open a box on their tables. Inside was a small bell, which they were encouraged to stand and ring in celebration of the completion of Cruz’s cancer treatment.

Kapiolani Soiree guests.

Kapiolani Health Foundation board member Ruth Mills was among the Soirée guests who rang bells to celebrate the end of a successful treatment for a 7-year-old cancer patient at Kapiolani.

The excitement continued with a surprise that drew cheers and applause. Ray Vara, Hawaii Pacific Health president & CEO, announced the new center would be named the Martha B. Smith Cancer & Infusion Center. As the visionary CEO of Kapiolani, Martha’s passion and dedication to serving the women and children of Hawaii left an imprint on every major project at the only full-service children’s hospital in the Pacific. The Kapiolani Soirée was one of her creations.

People smiling under a tunnel of lights.

Max Clini (left) and the crew from InSight Imaging walk through the time machine. 

The 2022 Soirée would not have been possible without contributions from generous donors. In addition to Castle & Cooke Aviation, about 50 others committed their support, including the $25,000 Radical Sponsors, beverage and wine sponsor Southern Wine & Spirits, entertainment sponsor Alohilani, and grand prize donors Hawaiian Airlines and the Four Seasons.

A table of guests at Kapiolani Soiree.

Dustin Sellers (left, in overalls) of Koa Capital with his table.