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Luau to support Friends of Moku‘ula’s restoration project

By Staff | May 19, 2011

Maui recording artist and Kumu Hula Keali‘i Reichel will make a special appearance at the benefit.

LAHAINA — Friends of Moku’ula (FOM) is partnering with Old Lahaina Luau to host a benefit luau, “He Lei Hulu, He Lei Makamae — A Feather Lei, A Treasured Lei,” on Saturday, June 4.

To be held at Old Lahaina Luau, the benefit for the nonprofit FOM will also honor the late Akoni Akana, founder and director emeritus of Friends of Moku’ula.

Old Lahaina Lu’au will create an evening of traditional Hawaiian cuisine, music and cultural dances, with a special guest appearance by Maui recording artist and Kumu Hula Keali’i Reichel.

Makalapua Kanuha will serve as mistress of ceremonies.

Ticket prices for the benefit are $100 per person or $700 for a table of eight. For event tickets and information, contact Old Lahaina Luau at 667-1998 or e-mail julie@oldlahainaluau.com.

Akana led the Friends of Moku’ula in the early 1990s to begin restoring Moku’ula Island and Mokuhinia Pond, where Kamehameha resided after his unification of the Hawaiian Islands.

Under his leadership, the nonprofit organization supported an archaeological survey by Bishop Museum that confirmed the presence of the pond and island, and FOM received a federal grant to develop a plan to acquire the land.

“Without Akana’s vision, leadership and determination, Hawaii would not be on its way to unveiling this cultural treasure,” said Shirley Kaha’i, executive director of Friends of Moku’ula.

“We are proud to continue the passion he had for Moku’ula and our community.”

Friends of Moku’ula is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization. Its mission is to educate the Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian community on the significance of historical sites in a non-exploitive environment; initiate the process of restoring, protecting and preserving historically significant sites, including Moku’ula and Mokuhinia; and to create diverse economic opportunities through historic preservation.

Moku’ula, an estimated 15- to 17-acre royal and sacred sanctuary, has lied virtually undisturbed under a county park near the corner of Shaw and Front streets for nearly a century.

For information on the group and its restoration project, visit www.mokuula.com.

Friends of Moku’ula is located at 505 Front Street, Suite 221. For information, call 661-3659 or e-mail friends@mokuula.com.