TORRANCE — Funds were raised for victims of the Maui wildfires during Matsuri of Faith, held Sept. 9 at Faith United Methodist Church in Torrance.
Due to the pandemic, this was the first full Matsuri of Faith since 2019. According to Rev. Allison Mark, senior pastor, smaller events were held during that time to “test the waters.”
This year’s festival featured performances by Kanani Kalama Hula, Elemental Funk and Asano Taiko U.S.
The food booths served Kalua Bowl, gourmet hot dogs, tamales and chili rice, Spam musbi and Hawaiian wonton, laulau plates, somen salad, corn, shaved ice, panikeke (Tongan donuts) and otai (fresh fruit drink).
The festival also included a bake sale, a rummage sale, games and a raffle drawing.
Vendor/information booths featured SpaceBites (freeze-dried candy), Faith Social Action and Faith Kokua Fundraiser for Maui.
The church has been selling Kokua T-shirts every week and has raised about $8,000. Kokua means “help” and the lokelani flower depicted in the design is the official flower of Maui. Orders will be taken until Wednesday, Sept. 27. To order, visit the church at 2115 W. 182nd St. or email email@example.com.
Supporters of the festival included Nijiya Market, South Bay Rice Things, One Natural Healing Center, Dr. Lori Matsuno, Crave Cakes, King’s Hawaiian, Audacy, The RISE Gym, California Barricade, Shin Sen Gumi, Honda Sushi, Toshi Sushi, Poly Grille and Finau family, Honeywell, Cherrystones, and Aloha Electric Co.
Photos by Kathee Yamamoto (except where noted)