Life is Sweet benefits Best Buddies Hawaii

Dive into a sea of dessert creations by top Wailea chefs. Munch savory pupu by Longhi’s Wailea. Sip fine wines by Paradise Beverages. Bid at silent auction for holiday gifts.

You may also rub elbows with celebrity emcees Andy Bumatai of the new TV show, “In The Car;” and Maureen McCormick, aka Marcia Brady, from the popular ’70s sitcom, “The Brady Bunch.”

We’re talking about the annual Life is Sweet benefit for Best Buddies Hawaii from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday outdoors in the center of The Shops at Wailea.

“It’s well known that the Hawaiian Islands have been drifting apart about an inch every 10 years, I think, so I’m glad to be going to Maui before it’s too far away,” jokes Oahu comedian Bumatai.

“Maui is like my second home, with close family and friends,” McCormick says. “Life is Sweet is delicious fun that everyone needs to experience!”

The star’s brother, Michael McCormick, is the longtime state director for Best Buddies Hawaii.

“Eunice Kennedy Shriver helped start this event in Washington, DC, to support Best Buddies in Maryland,” he says. “Bringing this event to Maui was my dream. The monies raised support students in our Maui schools with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Cosponsored by Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa and The Shops at Wailea, the popular event will feature delicious desserts created by some of the most renowned chefs from south Maui’s famous resorts and restaurants. Besides Wailea Beach Marriott, you may sample amazing creations by Joe’s; Gannon’s; The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui; Longhi’s Wailea; Tommy Bahama; Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse; Andaz Maui at Wailea; Mulligan’s on the Blue; and the brand new Fabiani’s Wailea.

“For Life is Sweet, we’ll make cannolis piped with chocolate-chip ricotta cheese,” says Fabiani’s Pastry Chef partner Michelle Fabiani.

Mulligan’s on the Blue will make its ever popular Finnegan’s pie, while Longhi’s will give a nod to the Thanksgiving holiday with pumpkin cheesecake. You may sample from 10 different desserts.

Judges are Steven Horn, former White House chef, now director of food and beverage of Ka’anapali Beach Resort; Jennifer Nguyen of A Saigon Cafe; Diane Haynes of Maui No Kai Oi magazine; Councilman Don Couch; and yours truly.

As far as savory items go, Longhi’s will barbecue pork and mango for sliders, toss fresh endive salads, and serve mini hoagies, ahi bruschettas, veggie platters and signature pizza breads.

“We will pour the new white, Prisoner by Dave Finney of Orin Swift, called Blindfold; Slo Down’s trendy Sexual Chocolate, and more quality of wines for sipping and for the auction as we always do,” says Alan Jahns of Paradise Beverages.

Other auction items are kayak, surfing or SUP adventures; one-year family passes to Maui Ocean Center; Warren & Annabelle’s dinner show; Ali’i Nui sail; and dinners at Nick’s Fishmarket and Sarento’s.