Life is Sweet at The Shops at Wailea to benefit Best Buddies Hawaii

Desserts such as these previous winners will be served to attendees at seven booths scattered around The Shops at Wailea’s Fountain Courtyard. There will also be savory appetizers at the fundraiser for Best Buddies Hawaii nonprofit, which has a focus of improving the lives of isle residents with intellectual as well as developmental disabilities. Proceeds will go to crucial funding programs and scholarships. Cost is $65 per person. Best Buddies Hawaii photos

The eighth annual Life Is Sweet festival will return to The Shops at Wailea from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The fundraiser for Best Buddies Hawaii will be held on the lower floor Fountain Courtyard with its anticipated culinary challenge featuring Wailea’s most seasoned pastry chefs.

This year, seven chefs representing eight of Wailea’s top restaurants, including repeat winner Ricky DeBoer of Fairmont Kea Lani, will be featured at various booths at which you may get tastes.

Other participants are chefs Kat Kress of Longhi’s Wailea, Elisa Aki of Mulligans on the Blue and Fabiani’s, Christian Brassfield of Grand Wailea, Marko Krancher of Hotel Wailea, Jocelyn Kanaele of Celebrations by Bev Gannon catering, and Tracie Symonds of Four Seasons Resort Maui.

They will all compete for the honor of Best Pastry Chef in Wailea. Through voting, event goers will help determine the people’s choice on the winning dessert. In previous years, celebrity judges who have graced the stage were Olympian Carl Lewis and “The Brady Bunch” star Maureen McCormick, aka “Marcia Brady.”

In addition to sampling the tasty creations, attendees of the 2017 Life Is Sweet will be treated to gourmet appetizers of the savory kind, live Hawaiian entertainment, a silent auction with exciting items and more.

“Isn’t it wonderful for a community to come together over extraordinary food and a worthy cause? It gives us so much pride that this meaningful celebration continues to be held here,” says Brian Yano, general manager of The Shops at Wailea.

“While supporting Best Buddies Hawaii, Maui residents and Wailea guests can enjoy an array of delectable food offerings from Wailea’s top chefs,” he adds.

Best Buddies International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Proceeds from contributions and sponsorships of Life Is Sweet benefit Maui schools, focusing on crucial student leadership development and scholarship funding programs.

“We’re enthusiastic to bring back Life Is Sweet to The Shops at Wailea,” says Sarah Man, state director of Best Buddies Hawaii. “In 2016, more than 150 attendees joined in the fun and we are eager to see attendance grow even more this year. That growth means more supporters will be contributing to aid up to 300 students.”

For tickets and more information about the 2017 Life Is Sweet, visit or