As the temperature chilled to a cool 64℉, people young and old set out to walk around the Clarence T.C. Ching Field at the University of Hawaii for an annual Relay for Life event.

HBA students from the Interact Club took part in the walk for cancer research on March 8, 2015. Relay for Life, an American Cancer Society event, is an overnight event that many HBA Interact Club members attend.

Unlike last year, the Interact Club attended the UH Relay for Life event instead of Roosevelt High School’s annual event.  According to Interact Club Advisor Susan Goya, a few reasons why HBA decided to go the UH event was that the registration amount was cheaper and UH had much better amenities.


“It was a successful event in reminding people that the fight against cancer is not yet over.”

Interact Club Adviser Susan Goya


Participants at this event consisted of a mix of high school students and UH students from various clubs.  By nightfall, students from various clubs, including HBA’s Interact Club, were immersed in games ranging from Flag Football to Ultimate Frisbee. The event featured multiple bands and inflatable attractions. Goya said, “It was a successful event in reminding people that the fight against cancer is not yet over.  It was a great social event where high school and college students were able to mingle and play games together.”

Junior Michelle Chan, who walked the most laps amongst HBA students, walked 100 laps—4000 meters or roughly 25 miles—around the T.C. Ching Track and Field at UH. When asked about her most memorable snapshot from the overnight event, she instead said that it was when “(the) Interact Club got together with Roosevelt and prayed for food and for cancer.” She added, “I was very energized that night, and I also had a reason to participate in this walk besides getting hours.” (Chan’s grandfather had died from stomach cancer.) While she initially planned to walk just 50 laps, she decided to go for another 50 since her legs weren’t sore. Despite her achievement, Chan gave the credit to her friends who gave her continuous encouragement. She said she also appreciated the constant round of applause from HBA teachers Claire Mitchell and Michael Hu who were there to help chaperone the event.

The UH Relay for Life Event at Manoa raised $35,142.14. Goya said that based on the positive feedback, it seems HBA will join UH again next year for the event.