Even though ʻIolani Palace is back open, it continues to lose money daily.
The word of financial struggle sparked a movement.
The community has come together to save a piece of Hawaiʻi’s history.
On March 18th, ʻIolani Palace closed its doors as a result of COVID-19, and over the past few months, it lost more than $600,000 in revenue.
Even with the limited tour schedule available now, the palace is losing more than $7,000 a day.
So when the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) heard the call for help, they jumped to the opportunity to do so.
They were surprised at the outcome.
“So we started a $15,000 matching campaign with the community and literally 12 hours, that’s all it took, and our $15,000 was matched,” says Kūhiō Lewis, CEO of CNHA. “And then we got another $20,000 from Hawaiʻi Community Foundation who said, “Hey, here’s $20,000 if you can match that.” So, we threw that out into the community, and again, less than 24 hours that was matched.”
So what was expected to be a donation to ʻIolani Palace of $30,000 jumped to $70,00 in just 48 hours.
And it hasn’t stopped there.
“We also received a $15,000 commitment from the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association and another $30,000 from Hawaiʻi Community Foundation. So total is $115,000 that the palace will be receiving to support and keep them afloat.”
ʻIolani Palace is significant for many reasons.
“Its really the steeple of our Hawaiian community. It symbolizes so many things, the hale of our Mōʻī Wahine, our Kingdom, and our resilience of our people. The palace had electricity before the White House, so it’s an important part of our history. It’s an important part of our future.”
CNHA says the continue to encourage people to donate.
And if they can get more money from other donors, they will match that money.
So, if you are able to, head to their website to donate now at www.hawaiiancouncil.org.