Kaulupali, Kuia-Fernandez host golf tournament

Senior project nets almost $500 for United Way


Photo by Kainoa Deguilmo

Seniors Rachel Kaulupali and Tyra Kuia-Fernandez organized the Whoʻs Your Caddy charity golf tournament for their senior project at The Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course, Saturday morning.

Seniors Rachel Kaulupali and Tyra Kuia-Fernandez hosted a golf tournament downtown at the Maui Lani Gold Course on Saturday, Sept. 27.

“It’s a tournament to raise money for the Maui United Way,” Kaulupali said.

The two paired up on this event for their senior project, which they arrived at when they discussed the possibility with Mr. Gregory Lopez, a physics teacher at Kamehameha Maui. They made the tournament into a fundraiser.

“We used golf because this sport raises the most money,” Kuia-Fernandez. 

In the end, the girls raised almost $500 for Maui United Way. All of the money went towards youth services and preventing youth abandonment and treating mental illness. When golfers registered for the tournament or they made donations, the money went straight to the United Way, and the two girls would receive an email notification from the organization. 

Prizes were given out, but on Saturday morning, Mr. Lopez said, “I just look forward to having fun.”

Prizes included Ulalena tickets, Burn’n Love tickets, Molokaʻi Ferry tickets, parasailing passes, free golf rounds, a Star Noodle gift card, a Lāhaina Fishing Company gift card, a Lavender Farm gift assortment, a Whole Foods gift bag and Merriman’s Kapalua gift certificates.

At the end of the tournament Johana Furtado and Dean Sturman were the winners. Mr. Lopez did not complete the tournament because he had to leave early.

“The easiest part was getting the prizes because once we got our donations letter we got so many responses,” Kuia-Fernandez said. “It was also fun to see the community helping out and donating whatever they could. I was surprised and pleased with the outcome of the prizes we received.”

While the senior project was eventful, it also had its challenges.

“The hardest part was finding golfers because it [the tournament] was the day of homecoming, so students had prior plans, and there was also another tournament on that day…” Kuia-Fernandea said.

She said that the small scale of the tournament made for a “good experience” as she gained insights into event planning. Pairing with Kaulupali was an added bonus.

“Rachel had connections to the golf course. We both knew people who played golf. It also seemed like a fun and good experience for me because when I go to college, I want to go to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to go into the hospitality and tourism program to become an event coordinator, so I can plan weddings,” Kuia-Fernandez said.