By Léo Azambuja

Left to right, Roger Honjo, Noel Udaundo, Mark Chinen and Teo Serrano during a past KMVH Charity Foundation Golf Tournament. Photo by Léo Azambuja

There is so much hate in this world, and I feel like I already got rid of some by stop hating golf, which was pretty much a pointless hate. As it turned out, golfing is actually quite fun, and now we can make it a tool to fight against one of the most dreadful and common forms of cancer — breast cancer.

I first came across golfing at a very young age, only because my dad used to golf. I have no idea how good of a golfer he was, but one his best friends was a South American champion. In my early days, I thought that just by having friends that are good at something, automatically qualifies you as good at the same thing. So I thought my dad was good at golfing, even though I never saw him swinging a golf club, not even that single driver he kept in his car to defend himself against potential road rage.

I really liked his friend. He was originally from Chile, if I’m not mistaken, lived in Petrópolis, a beautiful town up in the mountains west of Rio de Janeiro, and all his kids had English names. For a young boy like me growing up in an Internet-less world, it was pretty cool.

But all this coolness never inspired in me any love for golfing. If anything, for most of my life I have said I hated golf. I know what you’re thinking, “hate is such a bad word,” but I’m being honest here. The youth can carry a lot of prejudice, and I wasn’t immune to it.

And then I tried golfing at Wailua Golf Course. Boy, was it fun? Why do we have to stop at the 9th hole? I wanted it all the way to the 18th hole!

It was seven or eight years ago in Wailua, and unfortunately I never golfed again. But I also never dissed the sport ever again.

So, whether you are an experienced or a beginner golfer, or even a hater like I used to be, this November is a good time to hit the green with old friends or to make some new friends. It’s all for a really awesome cause; to help in the fight against breast cancer right here on our island home.

The Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital Charitable Foundation is hosting its 14th annual golf tournament in the beautiful Po‘ipu Bay Golf Course. The proceeds from the tournament will go toward purchasing a 3D mammography machine, which will provide doctors at KVMH a really accurate diagnosis of breast cancer. The machine is a relatively new technology that was approved by the FDA in 2011.

If you haven’t registered yet, the entry deadline is Nov. 15, and the tournament is Nov. 24, the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Léo Azambuja

The folks at KVMH Charitable Foundation have been helping the hospital and the adjacent clinic for 20 years, raising funds for medical equipment, furniture, construction, community education and scholarships. The product of their labor of love has for sure saved many lives and raised the quality of health service on Kaua‘i and especially in the Westside community.

So if you are interested in kicking off this year’s Holiday Season by paying back our community, contact KVMH Charitable Foundation President Steven Kline at (808) 338-9452 or (808) 482-0808 or at to find out what you can do. I would seriously suggest entering the golf tournament, it’s fun and you might be helping to save a friend’s or a relative’s life.

And for the record, by having friends who are good at something doesn’t necessarily mean their talent rubs off on you. If this were true, I would have become a professional surfer, much more exciting than a professional writer.


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