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Sacred Hearts School Bazaar: A bit of nostalgia

By Staff | Mar 28, 2019

The Sacred Hearts School Bazaar is set for 4 to 10 p.m. on April 12-13.

LAHAINA – On April 12 and 13, Sacred Hearts School will hold its Annual Bazaar, carrying on a tradition that is now 47 years old.

“We loved it, and it was fun! We had our children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters and friends working the event. They were always here to help – even friends with no children,” said Puanani Felicilda, a 1954 SHS alumni and member of the Neizman family, who were honored as last year’s Living Legend family.

Memories like these is what drives the school and church to keep the Bazaar an annual highlight of community tradition that brings Lahaina Town generations together.

According to many old-timers, the Bazaar originally began as a Maria Lanakila event run by the nuns, held each year on Aug. 15 during a church feast, to raise money for the school and help kids with financial aid. Its origins began in the parking lot across the street.

Sue Kidnay, who prepared school lunches for 25 years and retired in 2012, before Uncle Juan took over the lunch program, commented, “I know the Bazaar began in the parking lot across the street and hosted yummy food, craft booths, crocheted gifts and raffle tickets to raise supplemental income for the school.”

Butch Soares, also a 1954 SHS graduate, shared that a main highlight of the event was bingo.

“People went crazy for it,” he said. Later, they were told by the county that bingo was no longer allowed.

In 1971, the school burned down and the Bazaar was brought to the next level by the driving force of Joan McKelvey. The event was moved from the little lot across the street to the school courtyard – an area that housed the statue of Jesus and all that survived from the fire.

The focus of the event fundraising was now to rebuild the school. Each class had a booth set up with an activity, but the Kountry Kitchen was an original. The Sacred Hearts “Ladies,” also known as the Sacred Hearts Society, were dedicated to peeling mangos and helping Sister Antoinette prepare baked goods.

Puanani remembered that “we did a lot in the school cafeteria!” She also mentioned that the reason Sacred Hearts School is here today is because of the Bazaar and its fundraising efforts to rebuild the school.

Soares, along with wife Donna, will also be working the script booth this year.

He added that the “Bazaar brings the old-timers together. We go and sit around and talk story and rehash memories from 40 years ago.”

Mary Rosenthal, who works in the Parish Office, shared that the Bazaar was the big event in Lahaina and the closest County Fair type of event the town had. It was an annual staple for her family since moving to the islands in 1973.

“The auction was the big thing, and everyone waited in anticipation to bid on one of Sister Antoinette’s paintings and get a hold of her homemade fudge, of course. Only Aunty Eloise came close. It was her secret special chocolate powder,” she said.

Even in the beginnings of the Bazaar, the foundation of this event was made possible by the sweat and tears of the family members of Sacred Hearts students, Maria Lanakila parishioners and so many other volunteers and donors in the community.

Current Chair Miyako Burman looks forward to working with the other committee chairs to make the Bazaar happen, including thinking about new and fresh ideas, reflecting on what has been done in the past and how the event can improve with each passing year.

Burman commented that “every year I look into the crowd of people and I get the chills, and then the tears follow. I cry every year! It is overwhelming to see how many people come together to keep such an old and important community tradition alive. I am passionate about it.”

This year’s 47th Bazaar will take place from 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, April 12-13.

There will be food booths, malasadas, Health and Wellness Rooms that will provide massages and adjustments, the Beer Garden and Kountry Kitchen.

The ladies in the Kountry Kitchen will have classic baked goods, local veggies, plants, pickled mango and more.

Children of all ages will have a blast visiting the array of game booths, Petting Zoo, Jumpy Castles, Laser Tag, a Super Slide, face painting and more!

For Friday, the entertainment lineup includes the Sacred Hearts School Choir, Maui Music Mission, Lahainaluna High School Band, Keoni’s Hot Lava Zumba Studio and Aumaku Productions’ Hula Show. For Saturday, the lineup includes Maui Zumba Kids, Kidz Zone with Coach Sue, 7am- Maui Prep School Band, Fred’s Garage and Darren Lee of the “Burn’n Love” Elvis show.

Other exciting features for the Bazaar weekend include a silent auction and the fourth annual Art in Bloom, a mixed media Kids’ Art Show that takes place in the school cafeteria. The theme this year is “The Garden of Eden.” Also part of Art in Bloom is a juried art contest open to students island-wide, preschool through high school. Visit www.shs.maui.org for more information on the art contest.

An event like this would not be possible without sponsors, and the Bazaar Committee would like to thank Tropic Water; The Mark and Debi Rolfing Charitable Foundation; The Wharf Cinema Center; The Fish Market Maui; Thad Henry Design Group, HI, Inc.; Chad Santiago of State Farm Insurance; and Dr. Glen Kadohiro, DDS. In-kind donors include Leilani’s on the Beach, Kohola Brewery, Tante’s Fish Market, Northwest Electric, Goodfellow Brothers Inc., VIB and KCK Entertainment.