On Sunday November 2nd, participants gathered at Kailua Beach Park to take place in the first portion of the inaugural Makai to Mauka Fundraiser, Huakaʻi Makai (journey to the ocean). Despite the blustery conditions and rising surf, thirty-seven swimmers, 5 Stand-up paddle boarders, 1 prone, 1 OC1, and 5 OC6's participated in the race. Swimmers competed in a 1 mile course along Kailua beach while the water craft headed into Lanikai for either a 3 or 5 mile race course. Top swimmers finished their course in fewer than 30 minutes with OC6's coming in just behind them and SUPs rounding out the pack with times near the one hour mark. The events youngest participants were an 8 and 9 year old brother and sister who swam the course in 45 and 53 minutes respectively!
A big mahalo goes out to Huakaʻi Makai event partners Kanaka Ikaika and Kailua Sailboard and Kayaks for their help in formulating the race course and event logistics. A race packet for all participants and post-race food was provided by Whole Foods Kailua and many Oahu businesses provided prizes to the top finishers in each race category. Lastly, big thanks to Ed Pyrek for helping at the swim event and to all the volunteers from HOK, the community, and the Kailua Masters Swim Club.
The second event, Huakaʻi Mauka (journey to the mountains), took place on Saturday, November 8th at beautiful Kualoa Ranch with 135 attendees. The mauka event included tours of HOK's Hakipuʻu Stream Restoration site, followed by drinks from Barefoot Wine, pupus and a farm to fork dinner prepared by local chefs Jo Kapololu (Sweet Home Waimanalo), Kealoha Domingo (NuiKealoa), John Memering (Cactus), and Mark Noguchi. The evening also featured live music from Keauhou and Kaimi Hananoeau, and a robust silent auction. Sponsors for Huakaʻi Mauka include Kualoa Ranch, Alexander & Baldwin, Inc., PBR Hawaiʻi & Associates, and Longhouse Group, with event coordination by Under My Umbrella.
Both events exceeded expectations of staff and guests, evident from the feedback we have received...
"During the course of any year, I attend several charitable events, and I have to say, that my wife, our guests and I thoroughly enjoyed our evening at Huakaʻi Mauka. Getting to visit the HOK project at beautiful Kualoa Ranch, enjoying ono farm-to-table dishes from some of our best local chefs, and spending an evening under the stars, was really great after arriving, that day, from a long vacation in New Zealand. It was a great reminder of how beautiful Hawaii is, and what HOK is doing to keep it that way." -Vincent Shigekuni, Vice-President PBR Hawaiʻi & Associates
"HOK's Huakaʻi Mauka fundraiser was incredible! The jeep tour to the restoration site was like a mini-adventure tour - swooping over the rolling hills, with beautiful views of the Koʻolau and Kaneohe Bay. Diner under the stars was elegant, romantic and delicious. The music was great, and an unbelievable variety of food kept coming out to our table. The family style dining really got everyone at the tables to engage with each other. It was absolutely perfect. I can't wait until next year." -Senator Laura Thielen.
Hui o Koʻolaupoko kicked off our inaugural fundraiser in early November with two back to back events that reflect our mission of protecting ocean health by restoring the ʻāina: mauka to makai.
Take a minute to browse some photos from both events on our website and Facebook Page. We can't wait for next year either and we hope you will join us for our 2nd Annual Makai to Mauka Fundraiser in the Fall of 2015!
The mission of Hui o Ko`olaupoko is to protect ocean health by restoring the `aina: mauka to makai. This is done in partnership with stakeholders including interested citizens, non-governmental organizations, government, educational institutions and businesses while using and focusing on sound ecological principles, community input, and cultural heritage.