Maui Calls

Bid, sip, savor, dance and be entertained at MACC’s annual signature fundraiser

Maui Arts & Cultural Center donor Michael Millisor bids at last year’s auction. MACC photos

Savor gourmet cuisine by 18 top Maui restaurants and dessert vendors, sip fine wines by 19 wineries, dance and listen to live music, be enthralled by hula halau and bid at exciting auctions.

Yes, Maui Calls, the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s 24th annual signature fundraising gala for its many programs, will return from 6 to 10 p.m. Aug. 18, in the Yokouchi Pavilion and A&B Amphitheater in Kahului. This year’s theme is “In Celebration of Hula.”

“Every year the Maui Calls committee and the MACC’s development team select a special theme that reflects back to the glamour of old Hawaii as well as our Hawaiian heritage and culture,” says honorary co-chair Honey Bun Haynes, who has been actively involved in planning Maui Calls since its inception in 1996.

The 2018 theme reflects a key part of the entertainment, and includes award winners from this year’s Merrie Monarch Festival, the “Oscars” of the hula world held in April in Hilo on Hawaii Island.

“In the spirit of the evening’s theme, we will have special guest halau — including Napua Greig with Halau Na Lei Kaumaka O Uka, and Kumu Hula Kamaka Kukona and Halau o Ka Hanu Lehua, fresh from their big wins this year at Merrie Monarch and the Na Hoku Hanohano awards,” says MACC Development Associate of Donor Events and Special Projects Nicole Humphrey. “There will also be other performing artists.”

Gourmet cuisine will be abundant.

Attendees will be greeted with fresh flower lei and music by serenaders Joel Katz and the Hula Honeys at the entrance — and then be dazzled with hula-themed decor by Envisions and an historical display of hula attire courtesy of Bailey House Museum.

“Guests will be able to observe the attire set up in unique vignettes designed by HUE Interior’s Wendy Takemoto,” adds Humphrey. “The halau attire will offer an educational insight into the changing wardrobes of hula throughout the decades.”

Of course, gourmet cuisine will be plentiful from the ahi carpaccio and Kauai-shrimp gazpacho by Cane & Canoe at Montage Kapalua Bay to the chickpea falafels and carrot hummus by Wolfgang Puck’s Spago at the Four Seasons Resort Maui.

Many menu items are gluten free, dairy free, vegan or vegetarian due to attendee requests. Walk from booth to booth with a Cruiser Pass or enjoy a VIP table with special benefits and amenities.

“Once again, for his 12th Maui Calls, we have borrowed the estimable Eric Faivre from Aqua Hospitality & Aston Hotels & Resorts to assist in lining up our amazing chefs, caterers and specialty vendors who will again offer some delicious samples of their culinary skills,” explains event co-chair Lisa Judge.

“We are also happy to be welcoming several new players this year including DUO Steak & Seafood, Humble Market Kitchin, Moku Roots, Sugar Beach Events, Maui Cookie Lab, Sweet on Maui and Sweet Paradise Chocolatier,” she continues.

Other participating restaurants will be ‘Ai’ono at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua; Fork & Salad; Hali’imaile General Store; Humuhumunukunukuapua’a at Grand Wailea resort; Pacific’O; Pono Pies; Pulehu, an Italian Grill at Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas; Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar; Shearwater Tavern, Three’s Bar & Grill and Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar. Sip java by Maui Oma Coffee Roasting Co.

But first, wine lovers should check out sought-after wines selected by Alan Jahns, Paradise Beverages’ vino expert and Wine Division manager.

“His selections will continue the Maui Calls tradition of showcasing wines from around the world, many on Maui for the first time,” says Judge.

Participants are Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery, Longboard Vineyards, Chehalem Winery, Vine Cliff Winery, Laurent Perrier, Duckhorn Wine Company, Selby Winery, Signorello Estate, Clos du Val Winery, Maui Wine, Department 66, Frank Family Vineyards, Hanaiali’i Wines, Truchard Vineyards & Winery, Peay Vineyards, Thomas Fogerty Winery, Saintsbury and Salvestrin Winery.

Dance to annual favorite band Jimmy Mac and the Kool Kats. And bid at auction on blown glass by Dale Chihuly, a private Kaupo Ranch House getaway, ocean voyages on the Kioloa outrigger sailing canoe or Maui Jim fishing boat, and much more.

The MACC has gone hi-tech with 501 Auction, an online bidding system. Use personal mobile devices or iPads that will be available with helpers.

“Bidders can get a head start online beginning Monday,” says Humphrey. “We’re also using 501Auction for event ticket purchases — so it’s like one-stop shopping.”

“This year’s stellar lineup of auction items includes more than 120 selections,” says co-chair Wendy Rice Peterson. “We are so grateful to the many community members and businesses whose generous donations make the Maui Calls auction such a talked about event each year. From coveted and collectible art to Tiffany & Co. jewelry to vacations in Napa Valley, our auction has something for everyone. And with our star auctioneer and MACC board member Tony Takitani back on stage assisted by co-emcee Deidre Tegarden, the auction will be quite something.”

The details: MACC’s annual fundraising gala will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at Yokouchi Pavilion and A&B Amphitheater in Kahului. You must be 21 and older to attend. Cost is $195 for a cruiser pass; and $225, $300 or $500 for table seatings. Tables of 10 cost $2,250 to $10,000. Visit