St. Francis Xavier Chapel Japanese Catholic Center will present its Spirit of Aloha fundraiser on Sunday, May 15, from 2 to 4 p.m.
The livestream concert, featuring the Aloha Band — Brian Yamamoto, Wade Inouye, Joe Matsunaga, Geoff Yamamoto, Patrick Yoshinaga and Dave Honjio — is free but donations will be accepted. It can be viewed at www.SFXCJCC.org or on YouTube: https://youtube.com/StFrancisXavierChapelJapaneseCatholicCenter
A custom, hand-built Hamakua concert ukulele will be offered in a silent auction during the livestream. This phenomenal instrument, an extraordinary value (ukuleles of comparable craftsmanship cost upwards of $1,200) is courtesy of Ross Yamamoto, owner and luthier of Hamakua Musical Instruments.
“The first Spirit of Aloha festival was in April 2018, celebrated in the Maryknoll Auditorium at St. Francis Xavier Chapel Japanese Catholic Center,” said Geoff Yamamoto, who is organizing the event with his wife Denise. “It was very successful, bringing old-timers and new parishioners together for lunch as they listened to live Hawaiian music performed by the Aloha Band, were mesmerized by beautiful Hawaiian dancers, both young and seniors, and also joined in some fun hulas.
“It was held again in April 2019, with an even more fabulous show with the Aloha Band and all the dancers. It became one of the most important fundraisers for the parish, and, of course, SFXCJCC looked forward to having the Spirit of Aloha again in April 2020. But due to the COVID pandemic, it was cancelled.
“By early 2021 things were loosening up, but there were still enough restrictions to preclude an in-person event in the auditorium. So with the help of Brian Yamamoto, Cory Shiozaki, Wayne Nagao, Norman Kokawa, and a camera crew of five, a live-stream production was created on YouTube. That concert reached out to many people not only in the local community, but even to people in the Philippines and Japan!
“Needless to say, that live concert was a huge success for the church. So with COVID still spiking in 2022, SFXCJCC decided to do it again. So on May 15, 2022, from 2 to 4, with the help of the very same media pros, there will be a free live-stream concert with the Aloha Band, featuring your favorite community musicians. Join in the fun and all donations are welcome.”
Always had a good time at their events.