Natasha Gray And Alexandra Lavers

Sarah Pacheco
Wednesday - May 11, 2011
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Photo by Li Ansefeldt Thornton, Total-Li Photography

Natasha Gray and Alexandra Lavers are setting out on the journey of a lifetime this Memorial Day weekend when the two women will literally walk around Oahu to raise money and awareness for the Hawaii Meth Project.

“We both had a desire to give back to Hawaii, a place that we felt had given us so much,” Lavers says, “and we also wanted to push ourselves to do something neither one of us had done before.”

According to the outdoor enthusiast, walking the 134-mile perimeter of the island seemed the perfect way to achieve these goals. Difficulty arose, however, when it came time to select a singular cause to support.

“When we started planning how we wanted to give back to the community, we set some criteria: We wanted a challenge, we wanted to work with teens, and we wanted a program that helped teens to reach their goals, stay focused and become academically successful,” explains Lavers, a geologist for consulting firm AECOM.

Per the suggestion of a UH professor, the two met with Cindy Adams, executive director of the Hawaii Meth Project, to learn the effects crystal meth has had on Hawaii and its teen population.

“I grew up seeing the devastation meth had on families, especially the children involved,” says Gray, who moved to Kailua two years ago from California. “I hope that through this campaign we can make a difference in spreading the word of the destructive effects of meth and help prevent youth from trying it even once.”

Dubbed “Fighting Meth With Miles,” the challenge marks the end of a series of fundraisers the two have been conducting since April. A silent auction will be held May 25 at Stage Restaurant in the Honolulu Design Center (tickets cost $50 and include a silent auction, heavy pupus and one drink; email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to learn more), and on May 28 the women will set out from Kapiolani Park to Kalanianaole Highway, head out to Kamehameha Highway, travel north to Farrington Highway, go through Kaena Point to Waianae, and finish back at the park May 30.

“People are welcome to join us or say hi as we walk!” Lavers says, adding that their goal is to raise $13,400 - $100 for every mile walked. Pledges and donations can be made at under the link “Fighting Meth With Miles.”

“We both said we wanted to something bigger than ourselves,” says Lavers. “It’s been a wonderful journey so far.” 


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