Wishing Well . . . for Maui Students to host first fundraiser at Maui Ocean Center

JEFF PETERSON, Slack key guitarist

The Wishing Well . . . for Maui Students program will host its inaugural fundraiser, “Wishes with Fishes,” from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Maui Ocean Center.

The 21-and-over event is open to the public and will feature a buffet dinner catered by the award-winning Seascape Restaurant, silent auction and live music with performances by acclaimed slack key guitarist Jeff Peterson, Natalie Nicole & Josh Hearl, and the award-winning ukulele-powered Hawaiian reggae folk rock band Kanekoa.

Attendees will have the rare opportunity to explore the aquarium after hours, interact with marine naturalists and enjoy a special diver presentation in the Open Ocean exhibit.

The silent auction features a variety of prizes and is open to everyone; participants do not need to be present to win. To bid in the silent auction, visit www.32auctions.com/WishesWithFishes.

All of the proceeds from the “Wishes with Fishes” fundraiser and silent auction will benefit the Wishing Well . . . for Maui Students program under the Realtors Association of Maui Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

The Wishing Well program has collected and contributed more than $1.65 million in goods, services and cash donations to Maui County’s public schools since its inception in 2007.

Run entirely by volunteer RAM members, the program covers all public schools on Maui, Lanai and Molokai and serves approximately 20,000 students.

“Because of our high cost of living, our teachers are the most underpaid in the nation, yet they are constantly reaching into their own pockets to purchase items for their classrooms,” said Sarah Sorenson, founder of the Wishing Well program. “On average, our teachers spend $1,000 of their own money for educational material and supplies for their classrooms, as well as for their students. This event is a fun way to support our hardworking public school teachers and ensure that our keiki have the tools they need to succeed in school.”

Tickets for the adults-only fundraiser are $100 and can be purchased at www.ilovemauischools.com or in person at the RAM office, 441 Ala Makani St. in Kahului.

Donations for the Wishing Well are needed year-round; people looking to offload any new or gently used household (no appliances) or office items may call Sorenson at 283-3969.