Sheraton Maui employees worked together to create more than 30 handmade lei to present to the families and individuals as they arrived.
The entire resort team, including General Manager Tetsuji Yamazaki, greeted the families when they arrived.
“We were delighted to be able to welcome the families of Fukushima and provide comfort, fun and relaxation to them,” said Yamazaki.
Once inside, the adults and children were treated to a traditional Japanese lunch in the Coral Reef room.
Afterwards, they were treated to a day at the pool to relax and splash around.
An aide from the Aloha Initiative joining the families said, “They were so impressed the leis were handmade by your staff and not bought... the kids thought it was so special! The Japanese lunch was also a hit. Some students were craving for some food from home.”
In related news, the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui will hold a barbecue at its quarterly membership meeting/social at Kahului Community Center on Saturday, Sept. 3, at 10 a.m.
Those interested in joining the organization, as well as Aloha Initiative guests from Japan and their host families, are encouraged to attend.
In addition to the free barbecue lunch, there will be bingo and activities enjoyed during old plantation times. To register, contact Priscilla Yamamura at 283-4253 by Aug. 29.
The mission of the Aloha Initiative is to provide citizens of Japan who have been displaced by the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis with a warm and welcome home.
The program is providing airfare and accommodations for these Japanese families and individuals, who have been visiting resorts and living across the islands with host families since July 4.
For information on the Aloha Initiative, visit alohainitiative.com/.
Students from Fukushima enjoyed a traditional Japanese lunch and day at the pool at The Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa on Aug. 4 through the Aloha Initiative.