Maui Fires Relief Fund Supports The Kanikapila Project With 75 New Ukuleles

Submitted by Joanne Laird, Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset

The Kanikapila Project is an incredible initiative that provides music lessons and ukuleles to people of all ages who have been impacted by the tragic Lahaina fires. Held at the Royal Lahaina Hotel, which has graciously donated space for the project, these lessons offer a healing outlet for trauma survivors. The project has distributed over 400 ukuleles to students since October, with dedicated music teachers volunteering their time to provide instruction.

Thanks to the support of the Hawaii Rotary District 5000 Foundation’s Maui Fires Relief Fund, a proposal was put forth and funded to purchase 75 more ukuleles and offer an honorarium to teachers who commit to teaching three times a week. Lead teacher Jason Jerome, who lost his business, Lahaina Music, in the fires, has been instrumental in the project’s success. This generous contribution has brought the gift of music and healing to those in need.

At a reception at Hale Paina on the Lahainaluna High School campus on Monday, April 15, 2024, Rotary International President Gordon McInally presented a check to Founder and President of the Kanikapila Project, David Blake, in recognition of their impactful work.

PHOTO ID #1:  David Blake (R) founder and president of the Kanikaplia Project offers thanks for the funding contribution from Rotary International President Gordon McInally (L).

PHOTO ID #2:  Maui Fire Survivors receive their new ukuleles from the Kanikaplia Project thanks to funding by the Rotary D5000 Foundation Fire Relief effort.

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