When Wilbert Tai Hook, our new project manager at Makai Club Resort and the president of the non-profit Mālie Foundation, asked Grand Pacific Resorts to sponsor the foundation’s 30th Annual Kauai Mokihana Festival last month, we jumped at the opportunity to give our support.
The Mokihana Festival, which ran from September 21 to September 27, 2014, brought together composers, dancers, and artists for a seven-day celebration of Hawaiian culture that drew thousands of visitors and included more than seventy performances.
Grand Pacific Resorts manages three resorts in Princeville, Kauai—Makai Club Resort, Hanalei Bay Resort, and Alii Kai Resort—and our involvement with the Mokihana Festival fits perfectly with our commitment to the causes that matter to our associates and our emphasis on giving back to the destinations we serve.
One of the highlights of the festival included the group hula competition, where a line of dancers dawned traditional print dresses and swayed to the gentle strum of ukuleles. Others shook their grass-skirted hips to the vigorous beat of native drums. Locals and tourist alike looked on in delight, energized by the performers’ passion and precision.
At the children’s music competition, held at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall, students from kindergarten through 12th grade sang in “Olelo,” the Hawaiian language. The competition is an extension of the Hawaiian Immersion School Program, a statewide initiative aimed at revitalizing Olelo and fostering cultural pride through language immersion.
“Language loss is the main threat to Hawaiian identity today,” Wilbert explains, “But the foundation is inspiring the next generation.” The Mokihana Festival is the Mālie Foundation’s premiere event and one of the main ways the non-profit raises scholarships for native students to learn Olelo and study Hawaiian culture.
The Mokihana Festival is part of a larger initiative to support the local community in Kauai. Grand Pacific Resorts recently sponsored the first Out of the Darkness Walk on Kauai, an event that raises funds and awareness for suicide prevention.
Both of these events share a common commitment to the people of Kauai, including the very ones who greet our guests upon check in, make the beds with such precision, and lead the adventures that make Kauai unforgettable. As we support the local community, we ensure that Kauai is as magical tomorrow as it is today.