Maui Business

Oprah Contributes to Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i, Which Has Supported 9 Grantees on Maui

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Virtual event boosted by special guest appearance and $100,000 grant from Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation.
Video Courtesy: Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i.

To support its mission to help Hawai‘i women and girls reach their full potential, the Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i held its 16th Annual Tea & Champagne Fundraiser on Friday evening. The virtual event was boosted by a special guest appearance and a $100,000 grant from the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation.

Winfrey has been a part-time Maui resident for more than 15 years with properties in Upcountry (Kula) and Hāna. Grantees on Maui who Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i has supported include:

  • ‘Ohana Makamae
  • BEST Reintegration Program
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui
  • Hāna Arts
  • Mālama Nā Makua A Keiki (Mālama Family Recovery Center)
  • Maui Advisory Group of the Pilipina Rural Project
  • Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.
  • Maui Family Support Services
  • Neighborhood Place of Wailuku

“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of the community and our donors who support our efforts to help women and girls in Hawai‘i feel safe, build financial wealth and security, and feel empowered to make a difference in our community,” said Dr. Leela Bilmes Goldstein, executive director of the nonprofit. “Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i has been a small grassroots funder of community-led programs by and for women and girls for more than 30 years, and during the past year, our work has never been important.”


“When I heard about the work Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i is doing… I was so moved. These are all paths that create opportunities for women to feel seen, feel heard, and cared for,” said Oprah Winfrey in a special appearance at the virtual event. “Mahalo to Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i for the invaluable work you continue to do throughout our communities to support women and promote empowerment and equality.”

A livestream video of the event with host McKenna Maduli, musical performances by Paula Fuga and Trishnalei, and a special guest appearance by Oprah Winfrey is available at The event will be broadcast on Sept. 12, 2021, at 8 p.m on KHNL. 

Island musician, Paula Fuga was among those who contributed their talents to the event.

Since 2005, WFH has granted more than $1,000,000 in grants to 153 community-based organizations to support 254 programs across the State of Hawai‘i.


Last year, Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i established an Emergency Fund in response to the COVID-19 and the pandemic’s disproportionately negative impact on the state’s women and girls. The non-profit distributed emergency fund grants to organizations like the Domestic Violence Action Center, Aloha Medical Mission and Hawai‘i Diaper Bank. In 2021, the organization is distributing grants through its WFHRRR program – to support relief, recovery and reimagining for girls and women – with the goal of achieving a post-COVID reality where women thrive. 

Seasonal grants (spring and fall) of up to $5,000 are made to qualifying non-profit organizations that promote the well-being of women and girls by addressing critical issues such as basic needs, substance abuse, incarceration, poverty, violence, health, domestic abuse, and inadequate job and educational opportunities. Funding is available for general operating support for programs serving girls and women, specific programs and projects, and small capital projects. 

The event was sponsored by Oracle, American Savings Bank, and many others and the tea sponsor was Hawaiian Natural Tea. To make a donation in support of Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i, text wfhawaii to 474747 or visit

Oprah’s Maui Connections


Oprah has a $2.8 million property in Upcountry, Maui as well as a private road that extends from Keōkea to Kīhei. She was also involved in a 2002 purchase of oceanfront acreage in the East Maui town of Hāna.

Earlier this month, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and Hilton gifted five deserving dads and their families an all-expense-paid trip to the Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort for Father’s Day.

In July of 2019, Oprah stopped by the Maui Humane Society following a wildfire to check on the animals. She snapped a photo and shared it to her Instagram. According to the shelter, Winfrey thanked staff and volunteers for their hard work and made a donation during the visit.

In 2017, Oprah hosted a public event at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center sponsored by the Hawai‘i Medical Service Association entitled “Live Your Best Life,” promoting healthy lifestyle conversations with Maui and Hawai‘i residents.


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