“Aloha for Lahaina” raises funds for Hawaii wildfires

A musician playing keyboard and singing

Sam Comier played Aloha for Lahaina at Opening Bell Coffee. Photo: Jessica Waffles

In the wake of the devastating wildfires that swept through parts of Hawaii, leaving a trail of destruction and displacing many, the spirit of aloha shines through as communities come together to extend a helping hand.

Malka Weber, a compassionate individual with a deep connection to the islands, spearheaded a fundraising event called “Aloha for Lahaina,” bringing music, solidarity, and support to those affected by the catastrophe.

A musician playing guitar and singing

Supporters came to Opening Bell Coffee to contribute to the fundraising event Aloha for Lahaina. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Malka Weber’s tie to Hawaii runs deep; a place she almost called home and where dear friends still reside. “One of my dear friends lives in Maui, I even almost moved out there. When I heard about the fires my heart pretty much stopped,”Weber said. “To know that those friendly, warm people were going through that, I wanted to help in some way.”

Driven by her determination to make a difference, Weber reached out to Pascale Hall, owner of Opening Bell Coffee. Despite being a newcomer to fundraising efforts, Weber’s unwavering spirit and commitment led her to collaborate with musicians who generously volunteered their time and talents for the cause.

The lineup of musicians included David Crandall, Sam Cormier, Katherine Paterson, Carly Carroll, and Jeffrey Michael Widman.

A musician playing guitar and singing

Jeffrey Michael Widman on stage at Opening Bell Coffee. Photo: Jessica Waffles

“I reached out to musicians and we put this together in eight days. 100% of ticket sales and 10% of food/drink sales are going to be donated to Maui Strong, a nonprofit that’s providing housing, water, food, and supplies to those in need,” Weber said.

Weber reflected on the profound significance of Lahaina. “The thing about Maui – the major cities are further apart. But Lahaina is densely all together, most of the historic buildings there are from before Hawaii became a state in 1959. Lahaina was even the capital at one point. But now it’s destroyed,” she explained, her words underscoring the tragic transformation the fires have inflicted on this cherished place.

The benefit raised $410. If you missed it but still want to help the cause, you can donate to Maui Strong or the Maui Humane Society.

A musician playing keyboard and singing

Carly Carroll on stage at Opening Bell Coffee. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Jessica Waffles is a freelance photographer/videographer and regular contributor to KXT. 

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