Maui’s Ukraine benefit concert is sold out, but donations still sought to help fleeing children
Maui residents and visitors will be experiencing a Hawaiian-style gumbo of music Sunday, as professional musicians including Grammy winner George Kahumoku perform in a benefit this weekend to help some of the estimated 5 million children suffering as a result of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The concert is sold out, but organizers say they are still taking donations to match philanthropists Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez who, together, will donate up to $50,000 to match funds raised as part of this event.
Donations are being accepted online.
“The situation inside Ukraine is spiraling,” said Catherine Russell, executive director of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). “As the number of children fleeing their homes continues to climb, we must remember that every single one of them needs protection, education, safety and support.”
Russell said besides refugees, nearly half of the 3.2 million children in Ukraine are at risk for not having food.
UNICEF is also rushing midwifery and surgical kits, as well as other lifesaving supplies to health facilities where women have been giving birth in makeshift basement bunkers.
The Maui benefit concert takes place at Pacific Biodiesel’s sunflower farm in Wailuku, Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Soul Kitchen band member Tempa Singer said she was “overjoyed” when she received a call from Maui-based Pacific Biodiesel owners asking her if she could play at the Ukraine children’s benefit concert.
“I was happy that a major Maui business was willing to step up,” said Singer, who’s bringing her nine-piece band.
Pacific Biodiesel’s Kelly King said the event was an opportunity to do something meaningful, and having the concert at the company’s sunflower farm seemed appropriate since the national flower of the Ukraine is the sunflower.
Kahumoku, multiple Grammy winner for his slack-key music, opens the concert, followed by a number of artists in various genres, including Singer with her zydeco soul band, and Fleetwood’s band The House Shakers with reggae rocker Marty Dread and rock ‘n roll blues and jazz singer Nara Boone.
According to the organizers, all proceeds from this benefit concert, including products purchased there, will be donated to UNICEF whose humanitarian work in Ukraine is focused on meeting the most critical urgent needs of children and families.
Mana’o Radio is an event co-organizer. Other sponsors include Hawaiian Electric, Maui Tropical Plantation, Maui Disposal, and Hawaiian Paddle Sports.
For a weekly listing of Maui music and other events, go to Maui Entertainment, Arts, Community, April 20-27 and click here.