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Lahaina fundraiser to feature food, fun and music

Friday 8 September 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Local, National, Pacific Islands, Regional

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Lahaina fundraiser to feature food, fun and music
Hawaiian Rarotonga resident Rudy Aquino reads updates on the devastating fire in his former home town of West Maui, Hawaii in August. MELINA ETCHES/ 23081011

In support for the fire destroyed town of Lahaina, in Maui, Hawaii, a fundraising event will be held tomorrow on Rarotonga featuring dozens of musicians and a taste of the Pacific.

The rebuilding process has begun across Maui - following the devastating wildfires that killed at least 115 people and displaced thousands more.

The destructive fire in Lahaina that started four weeks ago was declared contained over the weekend - according to an update issued by the County of Maui. 

The fire has burned an estimated 2,170 acres. Its path of destruction and damaged or destroyed, more than 2000 structures and hundreds of people are still missing. 

The people of Hawaii have also reached out to the Cook Islands in times of disaster - now the people of the Cook Islands are preparing to give back.

Maui Ikaika Mau Loa “Maui Forever Strong” (Maui Fires Fundraising Appeal) will see a mix of live entertainment, activities, live and silent auctions and Hawaiian cuisine of offer at Trader Jacks from 12 noon on Saturday.

Trader Jacks director Chris Douglas said more than a dozen bands are set to share their sounds across two stages.

Other scheduled activities including a boiler swim (gold coin donation) and Oe Vaka mini paddle experiences will be weather dependant.

Douglas said Trader Jacks had a long association with Lahaina, having visited it over the past 30 years.

He said a lot of people had travelled between Maui and the Cook Islands in that time.

During Cyclone Sally, residents of Lahaina and Maui “sent a whole lot of stuff down for us,” Douglas said.

“We are just returning the favour.

“A lot of people who come here from Maui say this place is like Maui was 50 years ago.”

Douglas said proceeds from the day will be going to a Maui fund, and will be held in trust.