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Koloa Rum Company raising money for Maui wildfire victims

LIHU‘E — The Koloa Rum Company is rallying behind relief efforts for Maui, announcing it will donate all online and in-store sales to the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund during a one-day donation event on Saturday.

The Aug. 26 event will be held over two weeks after catastrophic wildfires tore through the historic Maui town of Lahaina, killing at least 115 people, and leaving more than 1,000 people still unaccounted for, according to officials.

“It’s devastating, absolutely devastating. I can’t imagine something like that happening to us on Kaua‘i,” said Tracy Capman, the Koloa Rum Company’s store and tasting room manager, in an interview with The Garden Island on Thursday. “Please come and help us support Maui.”

One hundred percent of sales made from purchases both online and in-store, including all taxes and bottling fees, will go to the Maui Strong Fund during the one-day campaign, according to Capman.

Capman and Bob Gunter, Koloa Rum Comany’s President &CEO, noted the company aims to raise at least $10,000 for Maui during the event.

“Obviously, it represents lost revenue for us. But on the other hand, there is a great need and there was no hesitation on our part to move forward with this particular project,” said Gunter.

“It’s just a small way of showing our support for the people who were affected by the unprecedented event there in West Maui.”

Koloa Rum products purchased at bars, restaurants, and third-party retailers, including Safeway, Foodland, and Longs will not go toward donation efforts.

“We sell directly to our distributors,” said Gunter, on why third-party sales would not be included. “So we have no way of knowing what the sales would be outside of our own company.”

People interested in contributing to the campaign can purchase Koloa Rum products either online or at their store location at 3-2087 Kaumuali‘i in Lihue on Aug. 26.

Gunter said the distiller, which has been operating since 2009, would also consider additional efforts to help with Maui’s recovery.

“We’re continuing to watch things as things develop over there. And if there are other ways that we can provide support, we will certainly take that into consideration and hope to be able to do that,” he said. “We want to make sure that whatever we do, gets to the people who need it most.”



Emma Grunwald, reporter, can be reached 808-652-0638 or
Source: The Garden Island

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