During the month of October, a group of Huntington Beach restaurants will be raising funds with a tropical drink for hospitality workers devastated by the Maui wildfires.
The monthlong Ohana Mai Tai fundraiser includes over a dozen Surf City restaurants, where 100 percent of their Mai Tai sales will go to the Legacy of Aloha Foundation.
The newly formed foundation is a joint effort of TS Restaurants and Maui Brewing Company, both have island restaurants with employees displaced by the wildfires.
Brett Barnes, a partner of TS Restaurants said the Mai Tai fundraiser is all about helping out the hospitality workers who lost everything, to get back on their feet.
"Right now, part of the fundraising is the only reason they are getting any money at all and any support with food, water, supplies. So many people lost everything in their houses, they don't have cellphones, they don't have clothes, schools are barely reopening, all the things they need to survive on a day-to-day basis -- they need all of that stuff, and this will help that for sure," said Barnes.
A preview of the event took place at Duke's, one of the restaurants participating, with a conch ceremony, hula dancing and Mai Tai's.
Barnes said 837 staff members were affected by the fires and 300 lost their houses. Legacy Aloha has already raised $1 million, with $1,000 going directly to TS Restaurant and Maui Brewing Company employees, and other hospitality workers.
"It's going to take Lahaina four or five years to get back to, up and running and the news cycles do fade away and we want to keep it front burner for as long as we can so we are asking for all of our partners to commit to doing this every October for at least the next four years until we get some rebuilding started over there," said Barnes.
"The process is going to be very long and the money coming from FEMA is going to take quite a while, so we want to be there for them for the long term, not just the short term."
Participating Huntington Beach restaurants:
- Offshore 9 Rooftop Lounge at the Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel, 21100 Pacific Coast Highway
- Dos Amigos Cantina, 21022 Brookhurst Street
- Duke's, 317 Pacific Coast Highway
- Johnny's Saloon, 17428 Beach Boulevard
- Longboard Restaurant & Pub, 217 Main Street
- Mama's Comfort Food + Craft Cocktails, 21022 Beach Boulevard
- Matter of Craft, 21022 Beach Boulevard
- Sandy's Beach Shack, 315 Pacific Coast Highway
- Surf City Ale House Kitchen + Bar, 301 Main Street
- Triple Crown Tavern, 714 East Adams
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