Fundraiser Fun and All That Jazz
Hula Halau gives back to community.
By Jennifer Smith
Kupuna graced the stage with an upbeat dance number as Zhantell Dudoit performed the popular “Chicago” tune “All That Jazz,” to open last Saturday’s annual fundraiser in support of Moana’s Hula Halau.
With nearly 800 attendees, a meal spread described as “fit for a king,” and lively entertainment, the event continued a 20-year-old tradition of bringing the community together for an evening of fun.
“Once a year we give back to the community, because the community always supports Moana’s,” founder Moana Dudoit said, explaining why the halau holds its annual fundraiser. “We are not out to make money, we are out to support the community.”
For the past 40 years Moana’s has taught dancers the fine art of Tahitian, Maori and hula dancing. Participants attend lessons free of charge from the non-profit organization.
Moana retired three years ago, but continues to do promotions and travel with the halau. Money raised from the evening’s silent auction will help to support the dancers’ trips.
Last June, Moana’s dancers enjoyed a week in French Polynesia at a four-star hotel. This year the halau hopes to take dancers to the mainland for nine days in July. The planned trip includes performances in Washington state and Oregon, as well as visits to Disneyland, Universal Studios and Magic Mountain in California.
“I want to thank everybody who had something to do with our yearly fundraiser,” Moana said. She offered a special mahalo to Ruth Misaki, Nelson and Tina Kawno, and Moses Luczon for their assistance in making the evening a success.