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Ku Ka Lau Lama 2012

Guests were able to bid on anything from a diamond ring to a Chinese dinner for 10 at the silent auction. Photo by Eileen Chao

Under the spreading branches of the banyan tree at the Molokai Community Health Center, Aka`ula School parents and supporters enjoyed a prime rib dinner during the school’s annual Ku Ka Lau Lama fundraiser. The event raises money needed for purchasing school supplies and equipment, as well as funding the financial aid program for Aka`ula students. One of several annual fundraisers for the school, it also featured a large collection of silent auction items and the opportunity for guests to donate school supplies to the giving tree.

“It’s a challenge for nonprofits and schools across the board, so we’re extremely grateful that the community is willing to help support educational choice,” said Victoria Newberry, one of the founding teachers.

Aka`ula School, founded in 2003, offers a unique education for students in grades five through 12 that “celebrates multiple intelligences and meets the needs of a heterogeneous learning community,” according to the school’s website. Though the school is small –they have 37 students and six staff members –they are currently candidates for one of the state’s most prestigious accreditations through Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

The night featured silent auction items ranging from a 14K gold and diamond ring to a five-course Chinese dinner for 10. Music was provided by locals like Eddie Tanaka, Bully Aki, Rick Schonely, Bill Aki, Cookie Battad-Robins, DJ Pelekai, Norman DeCosta and Kaui Manera. Kauai-based duo Keli`i Kaneali`i and Healani Youn finished the night’s performances with music and hula.

This year’s Aka`ula Lifetime Education Achievement Award, presented annually at the dinner, was given to Dan and Kathy Bennett for the role as educators in the community.


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