Tree of Hope goes up

First photo: Hui Lanakila Halau’s Caitlin Moore, first photo, performs hula to “Jingle Bells” during Friday evening’s tree lighting ceremony at the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui’s 27th annual Tree Lighting Celebration in Wailea. The 25-foot Christmas tree in the lobby features 23,000 lights and took a team of 12 more than four days to set up and decorate. Also performing in the Wailea hotel’s lobby Friday were the Maui Okinawa Taiko Drummers. As part of the fifth annual Tree of Hope campaign, families and individuals are collecting donations at the Front Desk or Willow Stream Spa to benefit the Maui Food Bank’s Aloha Backpack Buddies program, which provides six meals for schoolchildren below the poverty line to take home for the weekend.

Third photo: Gingerbread houses entered in the Kea Lani’s Gingerbread Hale Contest exhibit a variety of building techniques Friday. The overall winner was Tyler Lee.

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

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