Our theme this year was Malama Ke Aloha, to cherish the love, and we cherish and appreciate all the support in the community of our keiki. ~ Desiree Anderson, Haiku School Principal
The 21st Annual Haiku Ho’olaule’a and Flower Festival was held on Saturday, April 12 at the Haiku Community Center. This community festival featured local entertainment, large crafters area, growers/farmers market, restaurant row, unique silent auction, Keiki Zone, community living tent featuring local businesses and non-profits, a floral design contest, lei making instruction, and other activities.
“It was a glorious day. We truly appreciate everyone coming out to support our community, businesses, farmers and of course, our keiki,” says Mike Gagne, one of the festival founders. “Over the past three years we have been working towards a new financial model for the festival that has improved our revenue stream to support our beneficiaries. This is very exciting.”
“It’s amazing to see all of our committee members coming together each year to make this event happen. The team just grabbed the bull by the horns this year and did a fantastic job. They are the best event committee on Maui,” says Karen Notley, Festival Co-Chair and past PTA President. “Some of the core committee members have been helping for years, including Leanna Troesh-Worrell, Mike Gagne, Sandy Pflug, Suzy Aguirre, Kristina Shugars, Lisa Mosbarger, Amy Duryea, Nikka Golan, Noncy Manning, Tiffany Saia, Megan Ramirez, Tim Wolfe, Sharon Shough, Marsha Bishop, Jodi Ottman, Barbara Potts, Joey Larrimer, Renil Phillips, Kate Griffiths, Doug Brunner, Maurice Bajon, members of the Haiku Living Legacy Project and so many more. And we are thrilled to have the newer guard joining us, including Lisa Daly, Keala Storm, Susanne Reusch, Carrie Gebb, Jennifer Poppy, JoAnn Funes, Jennifer Ely, Maureen Dean, David Takahama, Alexis Lang, Bronwyn Tatman, Mailani Souza, Jennifer Karaca, Patti Souza, Keith Ranney, Tami Lester, Tully Kramer, Joan Junger, Theresa Haberstroh, Courtney Hayes, Alicia Jacobson, Audrey Ikeda, Tysun Saucier and Jennifer Livingston. The teachers and staff at the school are awesome supporters as well.”
This year, the event raised more money than before for its beneficiaries – Haiku School PTA, Haiku Boys & Girls Club, and Haiku Community Association. A record-breaking $70,000 will benefit Haiku’s keiki through these organizations.
“In 2010 and 2011, we noticed a decline in revenue that, if continued, would have jeopardized the enrichment programs that the income provides for Haiku School students and Haiku Boys & Girls Club,” says Jennifer Oberg, Festival Co-Chair for 2013 and 2014. “In the summer of 2011, Haiku residents Karen Notley, Leanna Troesh-Worrell, Tim Wolfe and I attended a seminar to learn more about fundraising, and through connections there we learned about Toni Rojas, an event planner and consultant. Our committee met with her and agreed to bring her on as a consultant. She worked with us for the 2012 and 2013 festivals and our team was able to increase revenue both years. This year, we decided to carry on by ourselves, taking her good advice and suggestions and implementing them to run the festival. We worked very hard to keep our expenses down and it was the best year ever financially. The auction alone made $30,000. I’m so incredibly proud of our dedicated team. They are absolutely an inspiration for how community work should be done.”
The festival partnered with many companies in the community who stepped forward as sponsors and in-kind donors, who helped make the event a success.
Maui Printing gave over $10,000 worth of in-kind donation printing services to the festival this year and last year, under the guidance of owner Robert Campbell. “Everyone loves Robert. Anyone who works in a non-profit on Maui knows that Robert Campbell will try and do his best to help – he really is a superman. By all means, if you have printing work to be done, give them your business, because they give so much to the community,” says Oberg.
From Left – Robert Campbell, Owner of Maui Printing, Jen Oberg, Maurice Bajon, and Desiree Anderson
Susan Bendon and the Bendon Family Foundation surprised everyone at the event by giving a $10,000 grant donation to the Haiku School PTA to continue a science enrichment program that was started by the Bendon Family at Haiku School in 2011. “It was the highlight of the entire day, what an amazing surprise!” says Leanna Troesh-Worrell, a past Festival Chair who was part of the original grant-writing team in 2011.
From Left – Leanna Troesh-Worrell, Susan Bendon, Karen Notley, Lisa Daly, Desiree Anderson, Jen Oberg
Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar, under the auspices of Alexander and Baldwin, returned this year as Keiki Zone Sponsor, giving a $2,000 donation to the event. “HC&S has played a major role in the history of the Haiku area and helps support many opportunities for our youth. Alexander & Baldwin and HC&S have generously offered yearly grants to the Ho’olaule’a the entire history of the event, and have helped the festival grow into a signature event for the North Shore area,” says Lucienne DeNaie, one of the original festival committee members.
From Left, Vicki Shortell of HC&S, Leanna Troesh-Worrell, Desiree Anderson, Karen Notley
Upcountry Fitness joined the festival again this year and provided a free fitness area for attendees. “The commitment of Upcountry Fitness to our students over the past few years has been wonderful. For several years, they provided a free after-school fitness program for our Haiku School students, and the trainers and staff really cared about our kids. We appreciate their support last year and this year at the festival,” says Desiree Anderson, Haiku School Principal.
The festival had several restaurant and vendors donate 100% of their day’s proceeds to the cause – Mana Foods, Flatbread, Life Foods, Maui Children’s Bookstore and Café, Vanity Salon, and the American Windsurfing Tour. “We usually offer our vendors a 50/50 split to help them cover their costs, but this year we had more vendors than ever before show an interest in donating 100% to the kids. The four restaurants who donated 100% brought in over $5000 between them. That really helped our bottom line and our kids,” says Megan Ramirez, Restaurant Row Co-Chair.
Other companies, individuals, and organizations helped as well with sponsorships, donations, discounts, and loan of equipment, including All Island Print Works, Da Bounce Party Rentals, Ehman Productions, Wailani Artates of Artistry 8, Service Rentals, Steve Robinson, Seabury Hall Development Office, Maui Flower Growers Association, Maui Electric Company, Maui Coffee Association, and Sammy & Kari Hagar and the Hagar Family Foundation.
“We were so glad that Mayor Arakawa and Mrs. Arakawa were able to take time out of their busy schedule to join us,” says Desiree Anderson, Haiku School Principal. “Our theme this year was Malama Ke Aloha, to cherish the love, and we cherish and appreciate all the support in the community of our keiki. This annual event brings together old friends, creates new friendships, and is a celebration of our past, present and future generations.”
The 2015 Haiku Ho’olaule’a and Flower Festival will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at the Haiku Community Center.