The Fairmont Kea Lani is not just decking the halls this year, it's also blowing out the candles. In celebration of 20 years on Maui, the hotel has opted to give back to Maui's community with a substantial donation to Maui Food Bank in the form of rice.
In December 1991, what was then the Kea Lani Hotel broke ground in Wailea. Ten years later, in 2001, the hotel was acquired by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a global hospitality brand. Since its groundbreaking, the resort has been home to over 1,050,000 guests, employed 97,893 colleagues, has hosted over 220 community events and has been recognized as an environmental leader by the state of Hawai'i.
This year, the 20th anniversary rice drive kicked off on Dec. 1, when each of the hotel's 500-plus colleagues were encouraged to donate a 20-pound bag of rice in honor of 20 years on Maui. The original goal was to collect 2,000 pounds of rice, assuming 100 colleagues would participate. However, by Dec. 16, when the colleagues gathered at the annual holiday celebration, 278 bags of rice had been collected. A few days later, Maui Food Bank loaded the 5,560 pounds of brown and white onto their truck, just in time for the holidays.
"I am incredibly proud of our colleagues," said Charles Head, general manager of The Fairmont Kea Lani. "Their generosity for the Maui community is outstanding and I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate 20 years on this incredible island."
The 20th anniversary rice drive follows a successful year of charitable giving at The Fairmont Kea Lani. Throughout the year, the hotel hosted annual dinners and fundraising events for nonprofits such as Women Helping Women, the American Heart Association and Maui Culinary Academy. Hotel colleagues also participated in community events including the Maui County Hotel & Lodging Association charity walk and the "Life is Sweet" dessert competition, which benefited Best Buddies of Hawai'i, creating opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Come holiday season, the hotel hosted Maui's kupuna and donated hot turkey dinners to the Women Helping Women shelter, as well at the South Maui Police, fire and Paramedic departments.
Efforts in 2011 also included donations to the Maui County Agriculture Council and the hotel's High five Redemption Program. This ongoing program donates the hotel's HI-5 recyclables to a local non-profit organization, who then redeems the items for cash. Continuing its success in 2011, the program raised over $11,000 for Youth Education and Service (YES), a group at St. Anthony Junior-Senior High School, who used the proceeds for educational trips abroad.
In 2012, The Fairmont Kea Lani will continue to support the Maui community through both new opportunities, as well as ongoing programs, events and giving.