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Culinary student at the fundraiser
Leeward CC faculty and students provide service for VIPs at Chefs for Hope.

Leeward Community College’s Culinary Arts Program participated in the annual Chefs for Hope fundraiser at the Neal Blaisdell Center on September 15. The event was organized by Chefs Chai Chaowasaree and Lee-Ann Choy.

Chaowasaree, a strong supporter of Leeward CC’s program, personally invited its culinary students to help service the VIP tables. A group of about 25 faculty and students were eager to be involved in the event.

Culinary student, Samuel Newhouse, said, “It was an amazing experience to work with so many chefs… I was born and raised on the North Shore, being taught to always take care of others. Being a student at Leeward CC has given me many opportunities to support our community.”

The Chefs for Hope fundraiser featured notable local chefs and restaurants, including: PAI Honolulu, Roy’s, Side Street Inn, Tiki’s, Kapa Hale, Mariposa and Nami Kaze who came together to raise money for Maui residents impacted by the wildfires.

Local artists, Jake Shimabukuro, Robert Cazimero, Tavana and the Honolulu Jazz Quartet also provided live music for those in attendance.

“One of the great things is that 100% of the proceeds go to Maui. Our industry has a strong history of showing up when people need help, and it was great for our students to see the chefs donate their food, time and energy,” said Matt Egami, Leeward CC culinary arts coordinator.

The event was a huge success, according to Chaowasaree, and he expressed his appreciation for Leeward CC’s assistance, “Everything was perfect, and everyone loved it. Thanks to your help to support our Maui ʻohana in need.”

Through ticket sales and donations, Chefs for Hope raised more than $172,000 that went directly to the Hawaiian Way Fund and the Salvation Army of Hawaiʻi.

Leeward CC culinary students at the event.
Leeward CC Culinary Arts Program at Chefs for Hope.
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