Localvore Experience Debuts

Media Release:

Are you a localvore? Come and taste why more and more people are dedicated to eating food grown and produced on the Big Isle at the inaugural Farmers & Friends Dinner-A Localvore Experience.

A fundraiser for the Kona County Farm Bureau, it’s 5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Mar. 26 at the Keauhou Beach Resort. It includes an opening reception to meet and mingle with local food producers and a display providing ag-related information. Also available will be a silent auction stocked with dinners, activities and merchandise donated by community businesses to benefit KCFB.

Chef Cy Yamamoto

The evening’s highlight is the Farmers & Friends Dinner, a sit-down buffet showcasing locally produced food. Keauhou Beach Resort Chef Cy Yamamoto, a Hawaii Community College-West Hawaii alum, is creating a tantalizing dinner using a cornucopia of just-picked vegetables, fruits and herbs; red veal, grass-fed beef and fresh ocean fish, plus a pairing of 100 percent Kona coffee and chocolate made from island cacao.

Keauhou Farmers Market cooking demo

Throughout the event, door prizes will be awarded featuring products from the Farm Bureau’s weekly Saturday Keauhou Farmer’s Market. Earlier in the day, the market stages its free monthly Farmer-Chef presentation that highlights local growers, their products and an island chef preparing them—brought to you in partnership with the USDA Farmers’ Market Promotion Program. The weekly farmers market at Keauhou Shopping Center is 8 a.m.-noon with the Farmer-Chef presentation at 10 a.m. the last Saturday of each month through 2011.

Tickets for the Farmers & Friends Dinner-A Localvore Experience are $65 and available online at www.konafarmbureau.org. They can also be purchased at the Keauhou Farmers Market, Kona Stories at Keauhou Shopping Center and Kailua Village Artists Galleries in Alii Sunset Plaza and at the Keauhou Beach Resort.

The host Keauhou Beach Resort offers a “Localvore” overnighter rate that includes a breakfast buffet for two with a partial ocean view room for $119 plus taxes, phone 808-324-2515 for reservations.

For more event info, phone 808-324-6011 or visit www.konafarmbureau.org.

Produced by the Kona County Farm Bureau, this inaugural event is sponsored by Kamehameha Schools, Keauhou Resort, Keauhou Beach Resort, Kona Brewing Company, Hawaiian Springs Water and the Keauhou Farmers Market.

Hulihee Palace – Tsunami Update

Upcoming outdoor events are on at Hulihe’e Palace, landmark remains closed

Media Release:

Hulihe‘e Palace remains closed pending a structural assessment of the landmark this week. Two upcoming outdoor events on the palace grounds are still happening as scheduled.

First, this Sunday’s 4 p.m. band concert is confirmed. Also, the annual palace fundraiser, Day at Hulihe‘e, is on for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., March 26.

Kuakini Building lanai

“We want to thank the community for helping us during the massive cleanup,” says Au Hoy. “We lost numerous items stored in the basement and would greatly appreciate monetary donations to help fund replacement costs.”

Palace caretakers, the volunteer Daughters of Hawai‘i and Calabash Cousins, have been working non-stop since Friday to dry out the basement and any salvageable contents. Treasured artifacts, which were hastily removed from the palace’s first and second floors prior to the tsunami, are being re-installed into the museum’s extensive collection. Partial electricity has been restored.

Pumping water out of palace basement

The main floors of Hulihe‘e Palace were spared the wrath of Friday’s tsunami, which inundated Ali‘i Drive in historic Kailua Village. While the basement of the palace was flooded, there was no water damage to the first floor of the seaside historic landmark.

The palace’s newly renovated caretaker cottage didn’t fare so well. It is off its foundation and the adjacent Ki‘ope Pond, which was used in ancient times by Hawaiian royalty for aquaculture, suffered damage to its walls.

Damaged wall at Ki‘ope pond next to caretaker's cottage; the cottage got knocked off its foundation

“It looks like water came into the pond, surged, and then washed under the cottage,” details Fanny Au Hoy, long-time palace administrator.

The next-door Kuakini Building, which houses the palace’s kitchen and gift shop, suffered interior water damage. The palace’s gift shop, which needs a new floor, will remain closed until further notice.

Gift shop

The top of the seawall along the oceanside lawn of the palace was also damaged, as well as large swaths of sod.

Palace grounds damage

Donations are greatly appreciated and can be mailed to Hulihe‘e Palace, 75-5718 Ali‘i Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740. For information, phone 329-1877.

Hulihe‘e Palace reopened in September 2009 after receiving a $1.5 million renovation to repair damage suffered in the October 2006 earthquake.

HULIHE’E PALACE CARETAKERS—Founded in 1903, the Daughters of Hawai‘i opens its membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in their efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all, 329-1877, www.daughtersofhawaii.org.

Nake’u Awai’s Always a Wow at Annual Pre-Merrie Monarch Fashion Show Benefit

Media Release:

Springtime on the Big Island means Easter, Merrie Monarch, and Nake‘u Awai’s annual Fashion Show Fundraiser, happening Saturday, April 23, 2011 at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.   A benefit for Michael Pili Pang’s Hālau Hula Ka No‘eau and Hawaii Arts Ensemble, the luncheon-show is a stunning musical tribute to .Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, Queen Lili‘uokalani, and the Royal Hawaiian Band.

Sharon Goodman and Liana Aveiro

Doors open at 11:00 a.m. to give guests a chance to enjoy music by Meleana Manuel, lei-making and other crafts by the hālau, and to shop for Nake‘u signature aloha wear, rarely available away from his Honolulu studio.  The show begins at 12:45 p.m., following lunch.

Awai was inspired by Big Island author John Tanaka’s book, Aloha ‘Oe, The Song at Pier 10, about the Queen and her friendship with Heinrich Berger, Bandmaster.  “Picking up this novel, I was inspired to do the show,” said Awai.  “He writes beautifully.  And the scene where Berger is saying goodbye to friends and family in Europe, as he leaves to come to Hawai‘i, is wonderful.”  Tanaka will also attend the April 23 event for a reading and booksigning.

A distinctive designer of island fashion for over thirty years, Nake‘u Awai is well-known for his unique prints and flattering silhouettes for every body size and shape.  His annual spring productions have been described as part-Broadway, part runway—one-of-a-kind events that never fail to tell a story, using fashion, hula, history, music, both traditional and contemporary, and lots of surprises.

And because his entire “company” of models is composed of Big Island community folks, audiences love to come and applaud for talented friends and family, especially the men, according to Awai.  Veteran models Riley Smith, Wally Wong and second-year recruit Perry Kealoha take the stage with spirit, sporting Awai’s colorful aloha shirts, shorts and costumes with a special style all their own.

“Riley looks like Berger, so he will portray Berger,” said Awai.  “Besides the three men, there is a young man, Keaweiwi Pilaya, about 11 years old in this show.  He will duet with the Queen, after bringing her flowers from her garden while she is imprisoned within ‘Iolani Palace.”

An entertaining, festive occasion to celebrate the Saturday before Easter, “Duet with a Queen” invites groups of friends to join in a table and toast the Spring.  Tickets $50 at the door, $45 in advance.  Please contact hālau members, or Wendi Roehrig, Phone:  756-0823, wendiroehrig@hotmail.com.

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii Goes Dark to Shed Light on Climate Change

Media Release:

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii -a luxury AAA Four Diamond resort located on the Island of Hawai’i is pleased to confirm its participation in Earth Hour 2011, a global environmental awareness event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).  On Saturday March 26, 2011 at 8:30 p.m., all 60 of Fairmont’s landmark hotels and resorts around the planet will participate by turning off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour – and in doing so will reinforce the company’s pioneering commitment to operational sustainability and help draw further attention to one of the world’s single largest environmental issues: Climate Change.

Guests of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii will be able to celebrate Earth Hour by enjoying complimentary hot chocolate and cookies around an open fire pit oceanside underneath the stars.  Complimentary stargazing will be offered with local astronomer Wayne Fukunaga and his team from Star Gaze Hawaii . The Big Island , amongst the most isolated areas of land on the planet, is well suited for stargazing and many of the world’s top observatories are located atop the well-known Mauna Kea , a short two hours’ drive from the resort.

Guests may dine by candlelight at Brown’s Beach House, the resort’s signature oceanfront restaurant featuring sustainable, organically grown offerings from the Big Island of Hawaii.  Guests are encouraged to join in on the Earth Hour celebration by turning off any lights in their guest rooms and colleagues are asked to celebrate Earth Hour by turning their lights off at home.

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii is an active participant in Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ Green partnership program.  A wide range of programs are in place from support for local, sustainable agriculture through innovative partnerships with farmers, growers and distributors to ongoing water quality monitoring of our oceanfront Pauoa Bay through a cooperative grant with the University of Hawaii at Hilo Marine Sciences Department.  The employee-driven Green Committee actively seeks new ways to minimize the hotel’s impact on the fragile island eco-system by reducing waste i.e., offering canvas bags for groceries, sourcing energy-efficient lighting; recycling and water use reduction with linen exchange programs.  The resort also donates its cafeteria food wastes to a local pig farmer.

Earth Hour is a global WWF climate change initiative. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour to show their support for action on climate change.  The event began in Sydney in 2007, when 2 million people switched off their lights. In 2008, more than 50 million people, including several Fairmont hotels around the globe, participated.  In 2010, hundreds of millions of people and over 4000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet.

With a long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship and responsible tourism, Fairmont is a strong supporter of WWF, participating in many of their campaigns, as well as being a member of their global Climate Savers program.  For the past two decades, Fairmont has been dedicated to preserving the places in which we live, work and play through its Green Partnership Program.  Expanding on this 20-year commitment, Fairmont will continue to actively support a sustainable future and a low carbon economy, understanding that ultimately, we are all in this together.

For more information on Fairmont ’s Green Partnership program and the company’s industry leading environmental initiatives, please visit www.fairmont.com/environment.