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Ukraine benefit concert raises $72,000

Ukrainian refugee Vladlena Bugay, surrounded by her family, sang the Ukraine national anthem accompanied by Maui’s Gail Swanson on the flute. — ShootingStarsMaui photo

Pacific Biodiesel and Mana’o Radio’s “A Concert for Ukraine in the Maui Sunflowers” on April 24 raised $72,000 for UNICEF USA to support children in Ukraine.

The sold-out benefit concert and farm tour event was held at the Central Maui sunflower farm owned by Pacific Biodiesel founders Bob and Kelly King.

In addition to donations, all proceeds from ticket sales and a portion of proceeds from farm stand and food sales during the event were directed to UNICEF USA for Ukraine emergency relief. The funds raised were doubled by a donation match from philanthropists Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, according to a news release on Thursday.

“I am so proud of Maui residents for stepping up, heart and soul, to come together for the children and families victimized by the unprovoked war on Ukraine,” said Kelly King. “This was the largest public sunflower farm tour event we’ve held — and adding the concert was a joint effort of so many sponsors, musicians and volunteers, all of whom share Maui’s compassion, love and desire for peace.”

Maui musicians who donated their time to perform at the concert included George Kahumoku Jr., Gail Swanson, Arlie Asiu Band, Soul Kitchen, Benny Uyetake, Rowdy Love, Jimmy Dillon and Dayan Kai, Brown Chicken Brown Cow String Band and Marty Dread and the House Shakers with guest Nara Boone.

For more information or to donate to UNICEF USA for Ukraine emergency relief, visit www.unicefusa.org.

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