An idea to have mele provide healing and support to those affected by the wildfires resulted in the memorable Maui Ola benefit concert on August 20. Artists pictured here include members of Hawaiian Style Band, Pure Heart, Kolohe Kai, Kimié Miner KSK’03 and Anuhea (Jenkins) KSK’03.
Like the interconnected roots of Lahaina’s iconic banyan tree, our lāhui instantly took action to help their fellow kānaka impacted by the devastating wildfires. That kōkua is given in ways big and small. From boats and convoys delivering supplies where the need is the greatest, to mass gatherings of pule, this tragedy has brought out the best in our people. That aloha-centered approach was also the genesis of the Maui Ola benefit concert.
Knowing that mele plays an important part in healing, a handful of people began planning and networking to make the event at the Bishop Museum Great Lawn a reality. In just 12 days' time, organizers managed to secure an all-star lineup of local musicians and hālau. They also got buy-in from every local TV station and most radio stations to broadcast the event live. Social media helped build momentum too.
The production was massive, and it wouldn’t have happened if not for an army of volunteers working behind the scenes. Numerous Kamehameha Schools staffers and alums didn’t have to be asked, they simply showed up to be part of this effort. The sold-out concert not only brought healing, it raised much-needed funds totaling well over $1 million.
These photos courtesy of Maui Ola and Kanaeokana provide a glimpse of this memorable event.
Hailing from Lahaina, the Farden ʻohana is a Maui musical and cultural treasure. Several generations of their ʻohana performed mele of Lahaina at the Maui Ola concert. KS community strategist Hailama Farden, KSK ’89 (left), provided manaʻo in the form of narration during their performance.
The Farden ʻohana, numbering in the dozens, danced their family hula on the Great Lawn. Pictured in the front row: KS human resources staffer Talia Fermantez KSK’11, Nāpali Souza, KSK’00 and brother Kalama Souza KSK’08.
Amy Kalili, KSK ’89 emceed the Maui Ola broadcast alongside a rotating group of co-emcees which included KHON2’s Kamaka Pili KSK’06.
Kanaiʻa Nakamura (pictured right) from KS Kealaiwikuamoʻo is one of several KS employees who staffed the merchandise stands. One hundred percent of Maui Ola proceeds will be distributed directly to Maui communities through donation portals.
KS staffers Tati Fox KSK ’00, from Hiʻialo Group and Liz Apo from Strategy and Transformation Group and more than a dozen other KS employees volunteered their time to staff the Maui Ola phone bank during the live broadcast on August 20th.
Kimié Miner KSK’03 and Anuhea (Jenkins) KSK’03 who became best friends while boarding at Kapālama shared the stage and some of their biggest hits at the Maui Ola concert.
Nāpua Silva’s (KSK’92) hula hands moved elegantly to mele performed by Jerry Santos.
As donations continue to pour in through mauiola.org, organizers are already brainstorming more ways to deliver healing and financial help through mele.
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