UPDATE: OVER $6.1K RAISED FOR MAUI STRONG FUND
As thousands of residents continue to flee the devastating wildfires in Maui, Hawaii, which has now become the deadliest wildfire in modern U.S. history, many are wondering how they can lend a helping a hand.
This week, Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com worked together with local Orlando restaurants and hospitality industry as well as UCF Football player and Hawaiian native Lokahi Pauole to start a virtual silent auction and gofundme to benefit the Maui Strong Fund created by the Hawaii Community Foundation.
Hawaii Community Foundation’s “Maui Strong” fund was created to provide community resilience with resources for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. The Maui Strong Fund is providing financial resources that can be deployed quickly, with a focus on rapid response and recovery for the devastating wildfires on Maui. HCF is working in close collaboration with state and county leaders, nonprofit organizations, and community members to get an understanding of the quickly evolving priorities.
Hawaii Gov. Josh Green called the wildfires, which have killed at least 96 people and resulted in more than 11,000 evacuated, “the largest natural disaster in Hawaii state history.” Green estimated the flames had already caused “billions” of dollars worth of damage, according to NBC News.
Jeff Hickman, spokesperson for Hawaii’s Department of Defense told TODAY that the biggest thing people can do now to assist in the recovery is to send monetary donations. There are at least 1,100 people in shelters and an overflow of donated items like water, baby formula and pillows.
Some highlights from the silent auction include:
- Two-Night Hotel stay and Two Tickets to Wantilan Luau by Universal’s Loews Royal Pacific Resort ($1000 value)
- Omakase Dinner for 2 by Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs ($500 value)
- Set Dinner for 2 by Kaya ($240 value)
- Master Mixology Class for 4 by Maxine’s on Shine ($400 value)
- Mills 50 Food Tour Lunch Experience with Tasty Chomps’ Ricky Ly
- Lunch experience with Orlando Sentinel’s Amy Drew Thompson
- Gatlin Hall Brewing Tour
- Gift Cards from
- Hanalei Shaved Ice
- Sweet and Salty Island Grindz
- Domu / Tori Tori / Edoboy – Domu Dynasty
- Bento Group
- Isan Zaap
- Sampaguita Ice Cream
Sonny Nguyen of Domu Dynasty tells us, “Hawaii was a special place for us when we visited and it is devastating to see Maui and its locals hurting right now. We are happy to band together with the city of Orlando to extend a helping hand – our own way of ohana – to those in need.”
Maxine from Maxine’s on Shine says, “We live in the restaurant industry, we feed people. When we see pain and suffering, it is second nature to us to come together and want to help out and to nurture! We are all part of a global community.”
UCF Football player Lokahi Pauole, who is Hawaiian, is working with the group to get a signed football donated from the UCF Football team as well as a lunch experience at a local Hawaiian restaurant.
“It’s just a really sad day for the Hawaiian islands, sad day for the country,” Pauole told reporters on Saturday. “It’s a tourist destination, a spot where everyone loves to visit. I donated back to help out Maui’s community – I took some of my NIL money and donated back to them. I just feel like in Hawaii, we’re all a family. Ohana is a real thing.”
Together, Orlando can help make a difference and get Maui Strong once more. https://gofund.me/77a6fd30
To explore and bid on the silent auction: https://tastychompsorlando.betterworld.org/auctions/orlando-united-maui-strong
To donate an item: https://tastychompsorlando.betterworld.org/donate-an-item