2nd annual Habitat for Humanity fundraising gala aiming to raise $50K for housing help

  • Habitat For Humanity Hawaii Island Executive Director Patrick Hurney and Advisor to the Board Bo Kauhi smile and shaka at last year’s event. Courtesy photo

  • The inaugural gala on the oceanfront luau grounds at the Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel raised $35,000. Organizers are hoping to raise $50,000 this year.

  • Leiola Augustine, left, chair of Habitat’s Development Committee helping organizing the event, poses at last year's gala with Shani and Bren Ambruster
  • Habitat for Humanity Hawaii Island’s second fundraising gala takes place Nov. 16, a year after its successful inaugural campaign. It’ll feature the always-popular photo booth for guests. Pictured are Mattson Davis, Thalia Davis, Ed Rapoza, Ronnie Rapoza, Troy Fujitani Nicole Fujitani, Malia Bolton, James Augustine and Leiola Augustine. (Courtesy image)

KAILUA-KONA – Last year, the Habitat for Humanity’s inaugural gala raised $35,000 — a timely sum as Kilauea had recently erupted and decimated island homes.

This time around, the nonprofit that helps provide affordable housing for those in need is aiming to surpass last year’s total by a wide margin. It has its sights set on $50,000.

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Rest assured, its offering a one-of-a kind evening packed with entertainment and auction items to help it do just that.

“I thought a gala would be a great way to kick off the committee,” said Leiola Augustine, chair of Habitat’s Development Committee, organizing the event. “The volcano had just erupted at that time and I thought it would be a great way to create awareness, bring the community together and raise money for those in need.”

Prior to this gala, the organization just raised money through community donations, grants and its ReStore location. It also hosted the Blitz Build in 2017 where volunteers built 10 homes in 10 days, an impressive endeavor that brought with it a lot of exposure, community support and donations.

But the gala is proving to be an excellent, elegant addition.

It runs from 5-8 p.m. Nov. 16 on the oceanfront luau grounds at the Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. Guests will be treated to dinner, entertainment and a unique silent auction.

The auction is blending island experiences, accommodations, and local services with high value items, which have been donated to the ReStores, Habitat for Humanity’s resell outlet. High-end items, including art, will be available as “buy it now” opportunities for savvy Christmas shoppers who want to get a jump on their shopping list.

Airfare on Southwest Airlines and Mokulele Air as well as resort stays at Four Seasons Hualalai, Fairmont Orchid and Kaanapali Beach Hotel are among the items.

Darin Carlson, also known as the radio DJ DC from KWXX, will emcee the event and the popular photo booth will make its return as well.

The celebration will also honor the Habitat board’s late president, Deacon Michael Ross, who consistently challenged board members to volunteer to chair a committee.

Father Richard Tardiff will lead a tribute to the respected community member.

“He was an encouraging and motivating force for our board and organization,” Augustine said. “He was a true servant in every sense and we are forever grateful for the leadership and guidance that he gave us while he was with us.”

Ticket to the event is $125 and table sponsorship opportunities are available: Gold Level Table Sponsor ($2,500) or Silver Level Table Sponsor ($1,750), include a table for 10 and an array of special gifts and benefits.

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Tickets can be purchased at http://www.habitathawaiiisland.org/2nd-annual-fundraising-gala.html.

Info: Margo Takata, Community Relations Manager, at margo@habitathawaiiisland.org or 331-8010 ext. 106.

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