‘That’s my home:’ Universal City restaurant hosts fundraiser for Maui wildfire relief efforts

Big Aloha’s Aliʻi Cove held the Malama Maui Benefit Luau on Sunday

Universal City, TX – Samson Kalani Kealoha Makanaokeakua Young said he couldn’t believe the news of the Maui wildfire when he first heard it.

“That’s my home, my people,” Young said. “The whole town’s gone. Something that our Kupuna, our forefathers, built. It’s gone.”

Just weeks after the devastating wildfire in Maui, officials report the death toll is now 115 people. Thousands of buildings have been destroyed and relief efforts are only starting to get underway.

Young said all he wants to do is help those in Hawaii.

“We feel helpless,” Young said. “We try to do the best we possibly can.”

Young and his wife own Big Aloha’s Aliʻi Cove in Universal City. They held the Malama Maui Benefit Luau on Sunday to raise money for Maui wildfire relief efforts.

Selling out the event days before, hundreds of people ate Hawaiian food, listened to Hawaiian musicians and watched dancers for the fundraiser.

Kainoa Kamaka was one of those performers.

“As far as the way we go, the Aloha that we have for our state and for each other never dies,” Kamaka said. “It’s going to be a long haul to rebuild an entire community from the ground up.”

Big Aloha’s said it’s still accepting donations at its storefront on Pat Booker Road.

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About the Authors

Avery Everett is a news reporter and multimedia journalist at KSAT 12 News. Avery is a Philadelphia native. If she’s not at the station, she’s either on a hiking or biking trail. A lover of charcuterie boards and chocolate chip cookies, Avery’s also looking forward to eating her way through San Antonio, one taco shop at a time!

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