10th Annual Ku Ka Lau Lama
By Kalehiwa Dudoit, Aka`ula student
After all the wind and the rain, the skies cleared and the moon came out as Aka`ula School’s 10th Annual Ku Ka Lau Lama began. For those who don’t know, Ku Ka Lau Lama is found in “Oleleo Noeau,” by Kawena Pukui and she translates it as, “Many Torches Stand.” That means that there are many lighted bonfires, a signal of joy and victory. The dinner event is one of the ways the school raises money to provide financial aid to students.
Led by chairperson Kaui Manera, Aka`ula families organized an incredible evening. Walking onto the Hotel Molokai grounds, the smell of food coming from Aunty Marion Dudoit’s Hawaiian pupu buffet drew guests to the registration table where they were serenaded by nahenahe music from The Kupuna Serenaders while waiting to receive their bid numbers. The many tables loaded with silent auction items lured guests further down the path towards the dining room. Walking past the auction, guests arrived at their dinner tables, beautifully organized and decorated by Hoala Davis and Noelani Helm.
Kaui Manera, her grandson, Jalen, and his classmate, Kaliloa, were the evening’s MCs. Aka`ula students opened the evening’s festivities with oli and mele. They also served the guests, all the while being well mannered and courteous. Aka`ula supporters, friends, and families enjoyed a roast beef dinner followed by dessert especially prepared by Thyra Negrillo Dudoit.
One of the highlights of the evening was the announcement of the winner of the Lifetime Education Achievement Award. This year’s deserving winner, Caryl Hitchcock, was recognized for her work with the Department of Education and the University of Hawaii.
Two of Molokai’s finest musical groups, Only on Fridays, and Raymond and Patrick Hiro with Hanalei Lindo and the Hula Maidens provided the evening’s entertainment. To the side of the stage, there was a bountiful table of fruit and vegetables donated by parents of Aka`ula, for guests to take home as a mahalo to the community. All in all, the night was fantastic and everyone, including students and staff, had a marvelous time.