What immediately strikes you at the Pacific Cancer Foundation’s (PCF) Aloha Kalikimaka Benefit Gala is the “Aloha Spirit.” Set outdoors at a sprawling Maui house, you’re greeted by parking attendants and then led up to the party adorned in traditional Hawaiian décor with fresh leis on every table, and the west Maui mountains in the backdrop with a gorgeous sunset. It felt like a scene out of Jurassic Park (minus the scary dinosaurs)!
Attendees were encouraged to wear traditional Hawaiian dress. Food was served family style and offered delicious Hawaiian dishes with everyone’s favorite, an open bar. Throughout the evening, two flat screens showed photos of PCF’s patients, staff, volunteers and past events, giving you a great sense of the impact the organization is making. The silent auction was well organized and included all local vendors, from artwork and jewelry to many Hawaiian excursions and experiences. I was impressed how much items sold for, which is a testament to the community wanting to give back to PCF.
The highlight of the evening was the Elvis impersonator, a retired award-winning performer from Vegas with a show currently in Maui. Typically, he dedicates a song to a woman in the audience but this year, he spoke about his own tie to cancer. His family’s nanny had recently passed away from cancer at a young age, and the song was dedicated to her. This was a touching story and was one of many personal stories people shared. A PCF patient from every program stood up and talked about their own cancer journey, how PCF had helped them, and the importance of supporting the organization. Then, to everyone’s surprise, a representative from PAU Maui Vodka got on stage and announced a generous donation and a percentage of sales indefinitely would go back to PCF. To say the audience went crazy is an understatement! I know the next time I ordered a vodka drink, I requested PAU.
The Aloha Kalikimaka Benefit Gala was another impressive event hosted by PCF that allows you to truly experience Hawaiian culture while supporting a cause that comes from a place of serving. You walk away feeling refreshed from the authenticity of the organization and its staff, and their gratefulness for your patronage.