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Giving away rice for the holidays is nice

December 20, 2011 - Carla Tracy

Everyone loves rice in Hawaii. Steamed. Stir-fried with vegetables. Heaped in bowls. Two scoops on the side with macaroni salad. We’ve all lifted our chopsticks to this popular grain. All year round, the needy and hungry people of Maui crave it.

This Christmas, the all-suite Fairmont Kea Lani Maui resort in Wailea is not just decking the halls, it’s opted to give back to Maui’s community with a substantial donation to Maui Food Bank, in the form of rice. It’s in celebration of its 20th anniversary.

“This year, the 20th anniversary rice drive kicked off on Dec.1, when each of the hotel’s 500-plus colleagues were encouraged to donate a 20-pound bag of rice in honor of 20 years on Maui,” says the hotel’s director of public relations Megan Haertling.

“The original goal was to collect 2,000 pounds of rice, assuming one hundred colleagues would participate in the drive. However, by Dec. 16, when the colleagues gathered at the annual holiday celebration, 278 bags of rice had been collected. A few days later, Maui Food Bank loaded the 5,560 pounds of brown and white onto their truck, just in time for the holidays.”

“I am incredibly proud of our colleagues,” says Charles Head, General Manager of The Fairmont Kea Lani. “Their generosity for the Maui community is outstanding and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate twenty years on this incredible island.”

According to the press release, “the 20th anniversary rice drive follows a successful year of charitable giving at The Fairmont Kea Lani. Throughout the year, the hotel hosted annual dinners and fundraising events for non-profits such as Women Helping Women, The American Heart Association and Maui Culinary Academy. Hotel colleagues also participated in community events including the Maui County Hotel & Lodging Association charity walk and the “Life is Sweet” dessert competition, which benefited Best Buddies of Hawaii, creating opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

“Come holiday season, the hotel hosted Maui’s kupuna and donated hot turkey dinners to the Women Helping Women shelter, as well at the South Maui Police, Fire and Paramedic departments. Efforts in 2011 also included donations to the Maui County Agriculture Council and the hotel’s High Five Redemption Program. This ongoing program donates the hotel’s HI-5 recyclables to a local non-profit organization, who then redeems the items for cash. Continuing its success in 2011, the program raised over $11,000 for Youth Education and Service (YES), a group at St. Anthony Junior-Senior High School, who used the proceeds for educational trips abroad.”

In 2012, The Fairmont Kea Lani will continue to support the Maui community through both new opportunities, as well as ongoing programs, events and giving.


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Fairmont Kea Lani donated over two tons of rice to the Maui Food Bank this season.