Kupuna Life: Maui resident walks to fundraise for local organization

Kupuna Life

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Brian Sato enjoys the challenges of his job as a facilities maintenance specialist at The Maui Farm.

He has also learned a lot.

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“Working for a non-profit opened my eyes to how little money they function with,” Sato said.

He decided to help with a friend by his side.

“Alli and I are going to start a 12-day, 165-mile walk around Maui to raise money for The Maui Farm,” Sato said. “You know, it’s not an easy walk, it’s kind of grueling, it’s somewhat difficult but I like challenges, I like adventures, so I figure why not combine the two.”

He is using two weeks of his own vacation time for the trek, which begins during the week of Monday, April 12.

Sato hopes to raise $10,000 for The Maui Farm, a non-profit that teaches essential life skills to families — specifically single moms and their children.

“Just to put it in the scale of his impact, by raising $10,000, it helps to cover 75% of the cost for 2 families for an entire month,” said Kandice Johns, The Maui Farm executive director.

The Makawao resident has been working there for just over one year, but he has already made quite a difference.

“He’s incredibly dedicated, he shows the true compassion and caring each day and works to maintain our facilities but he’s also teaching the families really practical life skills,” Johns said.

Sato’s training for this journey includes long hikes every week.

“So for those of you that know Maui, in some parts like Hana Highway, there’s no shoulder, you’re literally walking on the side of the road, and then on the south side of the island there’s just rolling pasture land, but in sunlight forever.”

When Sato was asked why it means so much to him, “Just helping people gets to me,” he said.

The 64-year-old has completed three other fundraising walks to help organizations on Maui. He has also participated in numerous beach cleanups, replanting projects and even traveled to Kahoolawe eight times as a volunteer.

He has never done anything like this.

“There are those days and the whole physical thing of walking that much, it’s hard on your feet and body, believe me when you get older, it takes more of an effect or takes longer to bounce back,” Sato said.

He will continue to give back, one mile at a time.

“I feel it’s being part of the community,” Sato said. “Everybody should. It’s part of the privilege of living in Hawaii.”

Click here to support Sato and The Maui Farm.

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