Benefit Concert to Be Held in Memory of Hilo Boy
The benefit concert will be held on Sunday, Feb. 19, at 3 p.m. at the Hilo Taishoji Soto mission.
Admission is free but a donation box will be available for those who want to participate in fundraising.
The two-hour concert will feature music from the Studio Ghibli animé. Performers will include Hawai‘i tenor Kaweo Kanoho; Hawai‘i opera composer, arranger and musician Herb Mahelona; former Takarazuka revue member Sayaka-san; Hui Okinawa Kobudo Taiko; and Taishoji Taiko.
Soya was the oldest son of Kohei and Miyuki Miyagi. Soya’s younger brother is named Hiroto.
The Miyagi family, originally from Okinawa, was part of the Hilo community until January 2014. In December 2013, Soya, not even 3 years old at that time, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma cancer.
The Miyagi family had to leave Hilo to move in Honolulu so that Soya could receive treatments at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children.
During the last three years, Soya fought bravely against his cancer, experiencing periods of remission and relapse, as friends in Hilo and the Okinawan community helped collect funds for medical expenses.
After few garage sales, the group organized a first fundraising concert for Soya in December 2015.
“We started planning a concert in 2016,” said Clergeon. “We were expecting to help Soya and his parents for the medical expenses.
But on Sept. 24, 2016, Soya lost his battle.
After Soya’s passing, and in accordance with his family, the group decided to go ahead with the concert, in memory of Soya.
Concert proceeds will be donated by the Miyagi family in Soya’s name, to the Kapiolani, where keiki from all Pacific Islands continue their fight against cancer.
“We are a just a group of volunteers gathering for Soya to help his friends at the hospital,” said Clergeon.
The Hilo Taishoji Soto mission is located at 275 Kino‘ole St.