Kauai mayor thankful for outpouring of neighbor-island support for flood victims

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More than a hundred people gathered in downtown Honolulu Thursday night to raise money for flood victims on Kauai.

Aloha Kauai took place in the parking lot at Merchant Street and Nimitz Highway. Food was provided by restaurants including MW, Senia, Roy’s, and Alan Wong’s, with entertainment by Henry Kapono, Josh Tatofi, John Cruz, and Robi Kahakalau.

Guests also got to peruse a Made in Kauai “store” featuring Garden Isle vendors like Kauai Kookie, Kauai Coffee, and Hanalei Taro.

Last month, record-breaking rainfall on Kauai triggered severe flooding and landslides that destroyed or caused major damage to more than 115 homes, according to a preliminary assessment by FEMA. Multiple landslides and road damage on Kuhio Highway cut off access to residents in Wainiha and Haena for more than two weeks.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. says he’s grateful for all the support.

“I just received a check of $200,000 that will go right back home to the families,” he said. “We’re going through a transition right now. We’re in disaster recovery mode. The families are being very challenged. It’s part of our island that’s still very limited in access, but gifts like this will go right back to the children, will go right back to our farmers, and will go right back to our families and see how we can support them.”

The fundraiser was organized by Grove Farm Company Foundation and Don Murphy of Murphy’s Bar and Grill.

“We are trying to ensure that our efforts address the ‘gaps’ in services and doesn’t duplicate efforts that may already be provided by other organizations or governmental agencies,” said Reiko Matsuyama, director of finance, Grove Farm Company.

Monetary donations to the relief effort are still being accepted. Checks can be mailed to Grove Farm Co. Foundation in Lihue, 3-1850 Kaumualii Highway, Lihue, HI 96766.

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