Pacific Biodiesel, Mana‘o Radio present live concert event to benefit Ukraine
Hawaii’s renewable energy pioneers and founders of Pacific Biodiesel, Bob and Kelly King, announced April 6 that Pacific Biodiesel along with Mana‘o Radio 91.7FM KMNO will present “A Concert for Ukraine in the Maui Sunflowers.” This live music event featuring performances by a variety of Maui musicians will be hosted April 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Kings’ family farm in Maui’s Central Valley, where a 35-acre field of sunflowers—the national flower of Ukraine—will be in bloom. Proceeds from this benefit concert will be donated to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), whose humanitarian work in Ukraine is focused on meeting the most critical urgent needs as the situation for children and families there continues to deteriorate.
“Our Maui sunflowers are a natural symbol of hope and resilience that have inspired thousands of residents and visitors alike since our first blooming field back in 2017,” said Kelly King, co-founder of Pacific Biodiesel. “When Russia invaded Ukraine, our followers on social media began tagging us with images of sunflowers. It inspired our idea to host this event at our farm as a way for the community to come together to stand up for Ukraine.”
She added, "With our many longtime friends in the Maui music community and at Maui’s independent community radio station, Mana‘o Radio, the lineup of performances filled up quickly with musicians excited to lend their time and talent for this cause.”
Maui musicians scheduled to perform at this event include George Kahumoku Jr., Gail Swanson, Arlie Asiu Band, Soul Kitchen, Benny Uyetake, Rowdy Love, Jimmy Dillon & Dayan Kai, Brown Chicken Brown Cow String Band, and Marty Dread and the House Shakers with guest Nara Boone. Sponsors Hawaiian Electric, Maui Tropical Plantation, Maui Disposal and Hawaiian Paddle Sports are covering expenses and allowing UNICEF to receive a maximum donation from concert tickets to direct to the cause.
According to a recent statement by UNICEF USA, two million children have now been forced to flee Ukraine, as the war rages on. “The situation inside Ukraine is spiraling,” said Catherine Russell, the executive director of UNICEF. “As the number of children fleeing their homes continues to climb, we must remember that every single one of them needs protection, education, safety and support.”
During this event, attendees will be able to view the sunflowers and visit the on-site Farm Stand to purchase products manufactured from the sustainable farming operation by the Kings’ company, Maiden Hawaii Naturals LLC, including culinary oils and cosmetic (including CBD) products. Food trucks will be on site and will incorporate menu items prepared with Maiden Hawaii Naturals culinary oils.
One-hundred percent of ticket sales, as well as a portion of the proceeds from farm-stand and food-truck sales during the event, will benefit UNICEF USA’s Ukraine efforts.
“We’ve been trying to figure out how, with our busy schedules, to create a safe and legal space for folks to park and enjoy the farm,” King said. “This event was pretty much dictated by the nexus of sunflowers, the horrible war being perpetrated on the citizens of Ukraine, and Maui’s compassionate response.”
Tickets are $75 each and must be purchased online in advance. Parking will be a $5 minimum donation per car at the gate. Due to limited parking at the farm, carpooling is encouraged. A complimentary cut sunflower bloom will be given with each parking donation.
Vehicles must enter the farm through the main gate located on Honoapiilani Highway just north of the Kuihelani Highway intersection (look for the yellow gate near the silver farm silos). As a reminder, the state has posted no-parking signs on both highways along the perimeter of the farm.
Seating under the event tent will be provided. To minimize waste, visitors are requested to bring their water bottle to refill at water stations on site. Visitors to the farm are encouraged to wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes. Wearing hats and reef-safe sunscreen is also recommended at the farm site.
Founded in 1995, Pacific Biodiesel is the nation's longest operating and most experienced biodiesel producer, and the only commercial producer of liquid biofuels in the state. A Maui-based company with nearly 100 employees statewide, Pacific Biodiesel established the first retail biodiesel pump in America and for more than 26 years has been an innovative leader in the renewable energy industry. With a nameplate production capacity of 5.5 million gallons annually, the company’s refinery on Hawaii Island utilizes advanced technology to produce premium distilled biodiesel. The company has always focused on recycling with a zero-waste philosophy that incorporates development of value-added coproducts. Today, its collaborative, community-based “agriculture and energy” production model demonstrates a circular-economy approach to fighting climate change and helps Hawaii achieve a clean, sustainable energy future.