Maui News

Kamehameha Schools & Kaunamano Farm Donate Combined $10,000 to ‘Iolani Palace

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Fronting the iconic ʻIolani Palace, Kamehameha Schools Trustee Lance Wilhelm, Kaunamano Farms’ owner Brandon Lee and musical artist Kaʻikena Scanlan present The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace Executive Director Paula Akana with a ceremonial check for $10,000. Photo Courtesy: Kamehameha Schools

Kamehameha Schools and Kaunamano Farm donated a total of $10,000 to ‘Iolani Palace to support operations of the historic landmark that has lost significant tourism revenue due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Kaunamano Farm, which raises organic Royal Berkshire hogs on ‘Āina Pauahi in Umauma on Hawai‘i island, offered a special promotional fundraising package of locally-raised products last summer on its websiteʻs “Eating with Impact” page. Kaunamano Farm donated $20 of each purchase to The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace, raising $5,000.  Kamehameha Schools matched the donation.

The fundraiser was launched on July 31, to coincide with the Hawaiian national holiday known as Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea (Sovereignty Restoration Day)


“I’m honored to stand with Kaunamano Farms in giving back to this special place,” Kamehameha Schools Trustee Lance Wilhelm said. “In its grandeur, ʻIolani Palace stands as a staunch reminder of its connection to our storied past, our ali‘i and our founder Ke Ali‘i Bernice Pauahi Bishop.

“The well-being of our lāhui is deeply connected to the health and condition of the ‘āina. E mālama ‘oe i ka ‘āina, e mālama ka ‘āina iā ‘oe, take care of the land and the land will take care of you. As we strive to steward our lands to be resilient and productive, it is times like these that remind every kānaka of the ever-sustaining relationship between ʻāina and our people and its foundation to a thriving lāhui.”

Kamehameha Schools (KS) stewards nearly 364,000 acres of land across the pae ‘āina. Of that amount, about 181,000 acres are classified as agriculture. KS has more than 800 agricultural leases on about 66,000 acres of actively-managed agricultural leased lands.

“Kalākaua is smiling with content because a local pig farm is supporting The Iolani Palace,” said Brandon Lee, owner of Kaunamano Farm. “Someone told me that the reciprocity between kānaka and ‘Ᾱina must be the foundation,” Lee said. “Hawaiʻi needs to ‘Eat with Impact’.”


ʻIolani Palace Executive Director Paula Akana, a 1980 KS Kapalama graduate, said: “It was exciting when Brandon first approached us with this idea of an Eating with Impact fundraiser. Food security and sustainability is important to Hawaiʻi and so is sustainability of our cultural resources, like the Palace. Plus, it’s appropriate that Brandon raises hogs. In 1883, King Kalakaua won first place at the Royal Hawaiian Agricultural Society, for having the fattest native pig!”

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