Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ma'o Youth Urgently Need Your Support - Sep 20

Contact: Summer Shimabukuro 696-5569 (work)
Rep. Maile Shimabukuro 349-3075


WHEN: Saturday, September 20, 2008, 6-9pm
WHERE: DOWNTOWN Restaurant - Hawai'i State Art Musuem, 250 Hotel St. 1st Floor
TICKETS: $125/person (tax-deductible), $2K and $5K tables for 8 also available;
Make checks payable to: WCRC, P.O. Box 441 , Wai'anae, HI 96792
INFO: Summer Shimabukuro at info@maoorganicfarms.org or call 696-5569

Wai’anae, HI. MA'O Organic Farms announced today that they will be hosting their fourth annual MA’O MA TOWN fundraiser on September 20, 2008 from 6-9 p.m..

MA’O Organic Farms hopes to raise scholarship funds for 26 Wai’anae youth pursuing their Associate of Arts Degrees at Leeward Community College (LCC). In a community where only 11% of high school graduates make it to two-year universities, these youth all have big dreams and a driving desire to make a difference.

“I want to study environmental science and politics so I can come back and help my community,” explained student intern, Kiane Aila. Her peers have equally strong sentiments.

“Everyone says that we in Wai’anae can’t do anything positive, but we can and we will,” Jonathan Abell said further.

The Legislature appropriated annual funding of $75,000 per year for MA’O’s college program around 2006. However, this is not enough to cover LCC tuition costs, mentorship, cultural grounding, and student salaries.

"This year, MA’O is faced with an unprecedented amount of youth asking for entry into the college program, and there is not enough grant funding to meet that demand," said Rep. Maile Shimabukuro (D-45th – Waianae, Makaha, Makua).

“MA'O is the future of Hawai'i agriculture — to connect people to the food they eat and the people they eat with. They are growing our next generation of growers," said Chef Ed Kenney. Previous events hosted at TOWN and DOWNTOWN restaurants have generated over $50,000, and helped to send 20 youth to school; most will be first-generation college graduates.

"The farm provides an opportunity for youth to participate in leadership-development internships that include entrepreneurial, agricultural and educational experiences," Rep. Shimabukuro added. "And MA'O is Oahu’s largest producer of organic fruits and vegetables, participating in farmer's markets across the state, and supplying restaurants such as Kona Brewing Co., Town and Downtown Restaurants, and Alan Wong's."

No comments: