LAHAINA - Conditions at DoomaPhotos' fifth annual Slideshow Party and fundraiser were standing room only last weekend at Lulu's Lahaina Surf Club and Grill.
"Every year it's a full house, packed," exclaimed Dooma, the brains behind the lens and the annual affair.
"It's a way to showcase all the photos to the whole community at the end of the winter," Dooma said.
Dooma, born Damian Antioco, is a career photographer, and his pictures appear in "all the major surfing magazines."
The unassuming Napili artist lives "five minutes on a good day from the (Honolua) bay."
"This is a profession. It's simple and clean. You get a good picture; you submit to the magazines and sponsors," Dooma explained
"Like the kid rides for Quiksilver. You get a good picture of him, you send it to Quiksilver. They use it for ads and stuff."
The flashy multimedia presentation at Lulu's on Saturday night captured "only the best of the best pictures of the year," featuring wave riders ages four to over 60.
Dooma, however, has ulterior motives. He's a surfer-preservationist, and he's giving back to the Honolua Stewardship program with this annual mega-raffle fundraiser.
"All the money goes towards Honolua Stewardship, maintaining the area through Les Potts," Dooma said.
"Les is great. He's honest; he's all action. He's up there every day."
Potts recited the amounts raised by the fundraiser by heart and by year.
"The first year was $300 and spent that on cleaning my tools, fixing stuff, taking to tool repair. Second year, it was $1,000, and we used it to remove 41 cars, two school buses, and back hoes off the seven-mile stretch of property. Last year, it was $4,000, and that went all to the road," Potts said. "Surfers' access road, Field Road 53."
Roadwork included redirecting the drainage from storm runoff to the fields, away from the bay.
Dooma isn't alone in his efforts.
For two months prior to the annual fundraiser, he pounds the pavement for donations to the mega-raffle.
"All the companies donated tons and tons and tons of prizes," Dooma commented.
"If you spend $5 (a ticket), you're gonna win something," he added.
With a full house, that was an extreme amount.
Items on the raffle block were amazing; the local businesses were supportive, donating surfboards, skateboards, inter-island flights, ding repair, surfing accessories, restaurant certificates, bikinis, massages, teeth whitening, hats, theater tickets, T-shirts, sunglasses, snorkel trips, condo nights, haircuts, shave ice and lots more.
Melissa Bundek, owner of the award-winning Napili Coffee Store, was creative with her $1,500 contribution
"Here's how it works," a plaque on her wall at the neighborhood coffee store read. "You win a $375 Gift Certificate to Napili Coffee Store; $375 is donated to the Honolua Stewardship to care for the Honolua area, $375 donated to the charity of the winner's choice, and The Napili Coffee Store Donates $375 to the charity of their choice!"
"Everybody's been so good to us, and I've been blessed so much," Bundek remarked, "that I'm at the point in my business where I can start giving that back in really big ways."
Lulu's is a proud cosponsor of the yearly extravaganza.
"We teamed up with Dooma when we first opened," owner Ron Panzo explained. "Lulu's celebrates ocean sports, surfing in particular. Dooma, he's a photographer of surfing. It just seemed like a natural fit when we first did it. It was such a big hit, we continue to do it every year."
"Dooma participates," Panzo continued, "gets involved with the ocean. He just doesn't go out there and enjoy it. He's an artist; he's one of the top photographers in the islands here, but he also participates with the maintenance and the cleaning - that's what we really love about Dooma.
"It is a really an honor to be supporting Dooma and his causes."
John Carty of the Save Honolua Coalition was heartfelt in his testimony about Dooma and the participation of the local wave riders.
"There are lots of different groups of people that share a strong love for Honolua. But the surfers are the ones that are there every day and responsible for most of the cleanup of the area. They have been the eyes and ears of the land and have an understanding and respect for ahupua'a, the connection between the health of the land and the health of the reef," he commented.
"Dooma's event is their night to celebrate Honolua and their historical and cultural tradition of riding waves. This year, there is a lot to celebrate! It is great to see the community come together to raise money that goes directly into the land."