Buy Back the Beach 2012 Event Recap


The Buy Back the Beach Benefit hosted by Old Lahaina Luau has grown into an anticipated community event on Maui, bringing together a diversity of folks united in their love for the land. January 28 was the event’s 11th anniversary, and its most successful to date raising over $125,000 towards the protection of Hawai‘i’s precious places. Our generous 2012 sponsors, Sempra Energy, Mana Foods, Boeing, and Skyline EcoAdventures set the stage, and success followed in both general ticket sales and the live auction.

The event got “social” this year with the help of a team of professional bloggers and social media experts. With their help a $5K matching challenge presented by an anonymous donor was  successfully kicked-off on Twitter and Facebook. Live at the event, the donors generously doubled the match to $10K before it was brought live to the stage. In a few electrifying moments the match was met, and an additional $20,000 was rolled into the event’s bottom line. (Cue rounds of applause here!)

The night was impeccably hosted by the staff of Old Lahaina Luau—all of whom volunteer their time for the event. (This still amazes and humbles us!) Guests were treated to tastings from the luau and their sister restaurants: Star Noodle, Aloha Mixed Plate, and the new Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop. Governor Neil Abercrombie added a little star-power to the night, making a guest appearance to voice his support for land conservation. Emcees Joni DeMello and Liz Morales of Ahumanu kept us rolling with laugher, Joel Katz swooned on steel guitar, the Old Lahaina Luau dancers gave a rousing performance, and HAPA’s stellar set at the end of the night took our breath away. Perfect weather and great company topped off a fabulous night under the stars.

Browse event photos HERE.


Monk seal yearling visits Waihe‘e beach

We get all kinds of visitors to the Waihe‘e Refuge, including this little cutie-pie. Nicole Davis, NOAA's Maui Marine Mammal Response Network Coordinator, confirmed that this monk seal yearling, "RT24" was born on Oahu last year. "RT24 had not been documented in quite some time (since he was last seen on Oahu), everyone is pleased to know he is alive and well," Davis told us.

Monk seals often frequent the Waihe‘e Refuge during the summer when they come ashore to molt. While we've seen many adults, this is our first visit by such a young seal. Can we keep him? Unfortunately, it's not up to us. But we would like to suggest a new name... Harold? Grover? Leave your suggestion below.