Library benefit draws more than 200 supporters
KAANAPALI — The Lahaina community, in its usual way, stepped up big time last week Thursday, when more than 200 guests attended a spectacular fund-raiser for Lahaina Public Library at the Royal Lahaina Resort.
“This was one of the better events of its kind I have been to in Lahaina,” said Rotarian Dr. George “Doc” Lavenson.
The highlight of the fund-raiser, organized by the Rotary Club of Lahaina, was a last minute appearance by musicians from California’s Citrus College. The group has played free concerts for two weeks each summer at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa for the last ten years.
The band was recruited by Dr. Norman Estin just days before the event.
Late staying guests danced to lively music after sipping wine provided by Better Brands, enjoying pupus by Royal Lahaina chefs and bidding on art, hotel stays and restaurant certificates donated by artists and the visitor industry.
Lahaina Rotary Community Service Chair Liz May designed and provided posters and organized a silent auction. The club has a goal of a $3,000 donation for the library.
“We simply can’t say enough about the support provided by everyone who attended, donated and put the event together,” Librarian Madeleine Buchanan said Friday.
“This represented amazing support from so many people.”
Guests included Expeditions’ Steve Knight, frequent library user and new chairman of the Maui Chamber of Commerce; auto entrepreneur and West Maui resident Jim Falk; and Tess and Bob Cartwright of Whalers Realty.
Newly installed Lahaina Rotary Club President Carmen Karady said it is too early to tally proceeds but pledged that the club will hold a similar event next year to continue its support.
The outpouring of support at the fund-raiser represents a classic case of how the community can come together when presented with a good idea backed by support from volunteers and Lahaina business people, organizers said.
Rotarians Karady, May, Don Lehman and others first forged an agreement with Royal Lahaina Sales and Marketing Manager Liz Bell to hold a benefit wine tasting in conjunction with the opening of a new wine store, Royal Trading Company, at the resort. The hotel offered its oceanfront setting, pupus, a large array of decorated tables, ticket collection and special parking arrangements.
The library became a priority after a speaking engagement at Lahaina Rotary Sunrise, a sister club, with an appearance by Maui Friends of the Library on the plight of county libraries in these difficult economic times.
Hearing about the speech, Lahaina’s Sara Foley asked to join the Friends’ board, because it lacked a board member from the West Side.
New Rotary President Karady, hearing about library needs months later, immediately saw this as a worthy community service project, and within days had planning underway.
Within another 30 days, the entire event was together with the help of many fellow Rotarians and the first wine sipped last week.
“We will definitely do this again next year,” Karady said.
One singer from the Citrus College group, not an authorized spokesperson, said, “We’d love to come back.”