Maui Business

Maui Cancer Wellness Retreats Raises $25,000

May 21, 2019, 11:15 AM HST
* Updated May 22, 6:39 AM
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Maui Cancer Wellness Retreats raised an estimated $25,000 during their first annual Royal High Tea fundraiser.

The funds raised will help fund 30 scholarships for cancer survivors to attend this year’s retreat at Nāpili Kai Resort, Sept. 20 to 22, 2019.

Organizers of the nonprofit say the mission of Maui Cancer Wellness Retreats is to help cancer survivors transform their lives to a new and better level of health and wellness.


The fundraiser was held on April 28 at Lona Ridge and drew an estimated 90 guests.  It featured a menu prepared by Chef Bev Gannon; a silent and live auction; entertainment by harpist, Irene Ryding and violinist, Joan Padgett; with master of ceremony, Dean Wong.

Speakers included Dr. Bridget Bongaard, a Board-certified Internist with a Fellowship in Integrative Medicine and co-founder of MCWR, and past Maui Cancer Wellness Retreat participant and cancer survivor, Dr. Alice Svoboda, who spoke about her experiences as an attendee of last year’s retreat. Leona Wilson, owner of the Lona Ridge Estate, donated the use of the venue for the event.


Organizers say the three-day weekend retreat will allow participants to fully engage with their own wellness and healing through this educational and inspirational weekend of “Rejuvenation, Transformation, and Hope.”


The Maui Cancer Wellness Retreats is directed by Dr. Bongaard. Along with a team of medical and integrative experts, Dr. Bongaard teaches integrative oncology and experiential classes during the retreat.

Dr. Bongaard said, “MCWR gives individuals tools to restore control in their life and offers time to process the changes they have undergone. The September retreat will focus on the means to get the body and spirit strengthened for a better future outcome.” Organization leaders say all information used has a scientific basic and some of the topics will include:

  • Nutrition as it relates to cancer wellness
  • Prevention of illness
  • Creation of resilience and hardiness for bettering the quality of life
  • Consciousness of personal patterns and how to create positive change
  • Epigenetics – how cancer gene expression can be changed or regulated
  • Psycho-immunobiology – how our emotions/thoughts influence our immune system.

For more information and inquiries to apply for the September Maui Cancer Wellness Retreat or to make a donation, email [email protected], or visit Donations will be tax deductible.

High tea guests (pictured from left): (top row) Suzanne George, Mei Li Coon, Jenny Coon, Paula Heiskell; (bottom row) Cindy Sawyer, Nutie Keogh, Lynn Coon, Sonia Phillips. PC: photo credit for Bruce Kurosaki via MCWR.

Pictured from left: Sonia Phillips and Nutie Keogh enjoyed the camaraderie during high tea. PC: photo credit for Bruce Kurosaki via MCWR.

Dean Wong, master of ceremony, came dressed to impress. PC: photo credit for Bruce Kurosaki via MCWR.

The elegant high tea at Lona Ridge raised $25,000 to help fund thirty scholarships for cancer survivors to attend this year’s retreat at Napili Kai Resort, September 20 to 22, 2019. PC: photo credit for Bruce Kurosaki via MCWR.

Dr. Bridget Bongaard will lead a three-day educational and inspirational weekend of rejuvenation, transformation, and hope for cancer survivors on September 20-22 at the Napili Kai Resort. PC: photo credit for Bruce Kurosaki via MCWR.

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