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Lahaina Restoration Foundation launches Employee Brick Program

By Staff | Oct 13, 2011

Sammy “Da Brick Man” Kadotani from Lahaina Restoration Foundation (wearing hat) joins Kaanapali Beach Hotel employees on the circular brick pathway surrounding the Pioneer Mill smokestack. KBH employees include (from left) Sam Balantac, Lori Sablas, Malihini Keahi-Heath, Mike White, Arthur Pa‘ahana, Malia Kekona, Ernie Nishimura, Patti Balderas, Lina Simpliciano and Shirley Cabida. Photo by Aimee Singer.

LAHAINA – Last week, Lahaina Restoration Foundation launched its first-ever Employee Brick Program, with proceeds to benefit restoration of the historic Pioneer Mill Smokestack located on Lahainaluna Road.

Kaanapali Beach Hotel helped to kick off the launch with a $4,000 sponsorship, which will enable 32 of their employees to purchase commemorative bricks at $50 each, with the hotel subsidizing $75 of the remaining cost.

Each brick will be engraved with the employee’s name and message along with the company name.

Individual four-inch by eight-inch bricks are being sold to the public by Lahaina Restoration Foundation at $125 each, which includes engraving on three lines.

Under the Employee Brick Program, employers can sponsor any amount. Their contributions will offset the cost per brick that employees purchase.

“The Employee Brick Program is a win-win-win situation,” said Theo Morrison, Lahaina Restoration Foundation’s executive director.

“Employers can help to assist employees in commemorating our island’s plantation era; employees can have their names and message engraved for friends, family and colleagues to see; and the residents and visitors will benefit from the preservation of one of Lahaina’s major historic landmarks.”

The 200-foot smokestack is all that remains of Pioneer Mill Company founded in 1860. It was one of Hawaii’s last remaining sugar plantations at the time of its closure in 1999.

To date, Lahaina Restoration Foundation has raised more than $247,000 from brick sales for restoration of the smokestack.

As custodian for Lahaina’s historic gems, the foundation recently restored the smokestack to its original splendor. The four-month restoration of the smokestack included the installation of 17 carbon steel tension bands and a steel door over the flue duct breeching, repair of the exterior concrete, addition of a waterproof coating to the entire exterior, and installation of a 14-foot high carbon steel “crown” on top of the smokestack to replace the cap that was removed for safety reasons during the mill demolition.

An interpretive plaque display was also installed at the base of the smokestack, along with a commemorative circular walkway at the smokestack’s base consisting of almost 900 personalized bricks purchased by the community and visitors.

Messages on bricks have ranged from names of old-time Pioneer Mill employees, loved ones, those who have passed away, visitors, as well as company logos and even a marriage proposal.

In addition to the four-inch by eight-inch brick size for $125, an eight-inch by eight-inch brick with engraving on four lines (selling for $500) and an eight-inch by eight-inch brick with one’s corporate logo engraved (for $750) are also available.

To participate in the Employee Brick Program or purchase a commemorative brick, contact Lahaina Restoration Foundation at 661-3262 or visit www.LahainaRestoration.org.

Bricks will also be sold during the third annual Lahaina Plantation Days on Oct. 20-22.

Presented by Lahaina Restoration Foundation, this three-day event celebrates our island’s plantation era.

The event will be held on the old Pioneer Mill site surrounding the smokestack on Lahainaluna Road. Hours are 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 20 and 5 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 21 and 22.

Admission to Lahaina Plantation Days is $3 per night or $5 for a three-day pass. For tickets and more information, call 661-3262 or visit website www.lahainarestoration.org.