Fronting the iconic ‘Iolani Palace, Kaunamano Farm farmer Ka‘ikena Scanlan, owner Brandon Lee and KS Trustee Lance Wilhelm KSK’83 (far right) present The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace Executive Director Paula Akana KSK’80 with a ceremonial check for $10,000. The gift will help support the operation of the historic landmark severely impacted by the downturn of tourism as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kamehameha Schools and Kaunamano Farm donated $10,000 to ‘Iolani Palace as part of a fundraiser to support the operations of the historic landmark severely impacted by the downturn in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kaunamano Farm owner Brandon Lee, a past KS Mahia‘i Match-Up and Mahia‘i Scale-up winner, raises organic Royal Berkshire hogs on ‘āina Pauahi in Umauma on Hawai‘i Island. The farm offered a special promotional fundraising package of locally-raised products last summer through its website’s “Eating with Impact” page. Kaunamano Farm offered to donate $20 of each purchase to The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace and eventually raised $5,000. KS matched Kaunamano Farm’s donation.
Launched on July 31, the fundraiser was designed to coincide with the Hawaiian national holiday known as Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea (Sovereignty Restoration Day), linking the fundraiser to the history of Hawai‘i’s ali‘i and the palace.
Fronting the iconic ‘Iolani Palace, Lee, Kaunamano Farm farmer Ka‘ikena Scanlan, Chef Keoni Regidor and KS Trustee Lance Wilhelm KSK’83 recently presented The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace Executive Director Paula Akana KSK’80 with a ceremonial check for $10,000.
“I’m honored to stand with Kaunamano Farm in giving back to this special place. 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,” Trustee Wilhelm said.
“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.”
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,” Lee said. “Someone told me that the reciprocity between kānaka and ‘āina must be the foundation. Hawai‘i needs to eat with impact.”
Akana expressed their gratitude for the donation.
“We want to mahalo Brandon Lee, Kaunamano Farm and Kamehameha Schools for this generous donation,” she 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 Hawai‘i, so is sustainability of our cultural resources, like the palace. Plus, it’s appropriate that Brandon raises hogs. In 1883, King Kalākaua won first place at the Royal Hawaiian Agricultural Society, for having the fattest native pig!”