Maui Chefs Raise $38,000 for Project Kōkua

August 1, 2018, 1:14 PM HST · Updated August 1, 1:15 PM
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Kaua‘i shrimp dish at the Project Kōkua culinary fundraiser on July 8, 2018. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

The culinary community of Maui joined forces last month for Project Kōkua for Kaua‘i & Hawai‘i Island, raising more than $38,000 to support neighbors, friends, families and farmers impacted by the recent natural disasters on both islands.

The sold-out culinary fundraiser, held at Maui Tropical Plantation on July 8, evolved through the efforts of Chef Lyndon Honda, executive chef at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, along with Lisa & Halemanu Villiarimo. Lisa is the Owner of Aloha Lifestyle, a lifestyle and food consulting company and entertainer. Halemanu is a recent 2018 Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner for Island Music Album of the Year.

Maui chefs and restaurants served up an eclectic sampling of dishes for guests to enjoy, along with live music by Halemanu. Volunteers donated their time and resources to help bring the event to life.  Maui Now’s Malika Dudley, a Hilo native, co-emceed the event.  You can see highlights from the fundraiser in our video, “Project Kōkua Welcomes Huge Crowds.”

“From start to finish, Project Kōkua for Kaua‘i & Hawai‘i Island was executed in less than a month. It’s inspiring to watch the local community come together to support our ‘ohana on Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Islands, especially in such a short time frame. We surpassed our donation goal, and the overwhelming success of this fundraiser was accomplished because of the true aloha spirit of our community,” says Chef Honda.

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Project Kōkua for Kaua‘i & Hawai‘i Island also featured a silent auction, with more than 100 gift items auctioned off, raising $13,192 of the total amount. Items included hotel stays, restaurant gift certificates, jewelry and other handcrafted items.

100% of proceeds raised from the event will go towards relief efforts distributed through Rotary Lahaina Foundation along with Malama Kaua‘i and Rotary Club of Pahoa.

Donations are still gladly accepted. For more information, please email Chef Honda.

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