Maui Business

Aulani Grants $20K to Polynesian Voyaging Society

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, donated $20,000 to The Polynesian Voyaging Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the perpetuation of canoe building and the preservation of the ancient Hawaiian tradition of wayfinding.  The donation was presented as part of the resort’s support of the Hōkūleʻa homecoming, which marks the end of the three-year, 42,000-mile Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

One-sixth model of the Hōkūleʻa in the Makaʻala Lobby of Aulani Resort. PC: Hugh Gentry Photography.

“Aulani joins the rest of the community in celebrating this special moment in Hawaiʻi’s storied history,” said Elliot Mills, Vice President of Hotel Operations for Disneyland Resort and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. “In honor of Hōkūleʻa’s historic voyage, we’re proud to support The Polynesian Voyaging Society’s efforts to give children and families the opportunity to spend time together learning about the culture, stories and history passed down through the tradition of canoe building.”

The donation to PVS funded approximately 75 students and their family members (150 people per day) to attend the multi-day Mālama Honua Fair & Summit. All 150 participants were transported to Magic Island and the Hawaiʻi Convention Center on June 17, 18 and 19, and participated in a variety of experiences and workshops, including: Hōkūleʻa’s homecoming on June 17, the Mālama Honua Youth Summit on June 18 and the Mālama Honua Inspirational Speaker Series on June 19. The donation covered all costs for the students and families to attend the events, including tuition, transportation and meals.

One-sixth model of the Hōkūleʻa in the Makaʻala Lobby of Aulani Resort. PC: Hugh Gentry Photography.

“A donation like this is really important because it helps us bring the message of Mālama Honua to communities that aren’t located in town,” said Miki Tomita, Education Coordinator at the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “This is a wonderful opportunity to support West Oʻahu youth and their families, and to continue spreading the lessons of the voyage to future generations.”


The donation focused on students affiliated with the following schools and organizations: E Ala Voyaging Academy, Mālama Learning Center, Kawaihona PCS, Waiʻanae High School, Waiʻanae Intermediate School, Nānākuli Elementary Hawaiian Immersion Program, Kapolei High School, Kamaile Academy, Nānākuli High School, and Nānākuli Elementary. Participants, ages 5 to 25 were in attendance.


In 2016, Aulani Resort made a $25,000 donation to The Friends of Hōkūleʻa and Hawaiiloa, a nonprofit group that supports the ancient Hawaiian art of canoe building and navigation, as a part of its fifth anniversary celebration. The fifth anniversary of the resort also saw a one-sixth model of the Hōkūleʻa put on display in the resort’s Makaʻala Lobby, serving as a visual reminder of Hawaiʻi’s heritage of exploration. Aulani Resort’s connection with the Hōkūleʻa reaches back to before the resort was built, when Walt Disney Imagineers sailed on the iconic canoe to gain inspiration for the resort’s design.

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