Senior Lūʻau raises money for ’17 Project Grad


Photo by Aaron Veincent

Senior Kaitlyn Evans dances a solo at the Senior Lūʻau, Saturday. The event was held for family and friends of Ka Papa ʻŌhiʻa Lehua to raise money for the classʻs Project Grad.

Seniors and their ʻohana, as well as supporting guests, gathered at the Pukalani community center for a senior lūʻau to raise money for their Project Grad and for a night filled with entertainment Saturday night.

Project Grad is an end-of-the-year bash for seniors after the graduation ceremony. The event consists of many energetic activities and entertainment for the class to enjoy as they spend their last moments with one another.

“We’ve decided to help with this because it is very important to us that our class has one last night together for some quality time and celebrate their graduation in a safe environment,” senior lūʻau chair Stacy Pang said.

The whole event was hosted by the class’s parent ʻohana organization. Participating guests bought entry, which included food and entertainment, which went toward the funding.

Guests purchased tickets in order to receive entry and food for the night at the senior lūʻau.
Photo by Aaron Veincent
Guests purchased tickets in order to receive entry and food for the night at the senior lūʻau.

“I wanted to thank all the people who supported us for our fundraisers for Project Graduation. Our families helped out a lot to raise this money, and this event is a way to thank them all,” senior class vice-president Kayla Nitta said.

The guests were ʻohana or other supporters who wanted to help the students spend their last moments together before entering college and adulthood.

“I came out tonight to support Kūpono because he is the oldest sibling, and he is the rock of the house, so he holds us all together. So tonight is one of the important nights of his senior year,” said freshman Kallee Aguirre, senior Kūpono Aguirre’s little sister.

Starting at 5:30 p.m., the seniors began with Oli Mahalo to thanks those who showed up in support of the event. Following the oli, came a pule and some manaʻo from Kumu Kaponoʻai Molitau.

“I once told you folks in our papa ʻewalu class that you had eight semesters left. But now you folks only have one,” he said.

Kumu Molitau’s message struck many of the classmates and their ʻohana, who began to realize that the proceeds of the night were going to be well spent on a class who deserved it.

Guests who stayed for the whole night enjoyed not just their Hawaiian meaʻai, but also enjoyed many difference performers, such as Kamehameha Maui’s very own, Hawaiian Ensemble.

There was also a country store with donated goods were on sale. These goods varied from plants to pastries and fresh produce. All proceeds went toward Project Grad.

“[The] country store is doing well with all the baked goods and all the knickknacks and Christmas stuff that they can purchase tonight,” senior lūʻau chair Dahlia Evans said.

The fundraising night will soon pay off for the class’s final activity with one another in May 2017.