Meet our 2019 Chocolate Festival Beneficiaries

In addition to providing valuable education for local cacao farmers, the Big Island Chocolate Festival is a fundraiser for local non-profit organizations. In 2018, we donated $27,000 to five organizations and for 2019 we’ve selected the following six non-profits listed below. They’ll be represented at the gala on April 27th so please stop by their tables to learn more about how they benefit Hawaii’s communities:

• American Culinary Federation, Kona Kohala Chefs Association (http://www.konakohalachefs.org/) (www.konakohalachefs.org): The ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association members are industry leaders committed to culinary enrichments through professional development and education in our community. There are more than 50 chapter members, plus a College Junior Chef Chapter and a High School Junior Chef Chapter. The group includes food service professionals, vendors and growers. The ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association is a part of the American Culinary Federation.
• Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture (HIP Ag) (www.hipagriculture.org): The mission of HIP Ag is to practice and teach ecologically conscious agriculture, empowering individuals and communities to cultivate alternative systems of living that restore human and environmental health. HIP Agriculture is a growing community that cultivates a diverse collection of Polynesian crops and operates as an educational site offering sustainable agriculture courses, youth programming, community workshops and events.

• Kona Dance & Performing Arts (www.konadanceandperformingarts.org): Kona Dance & Performing Arts strives to provide high quality instruction and education in dance and performing arts to the local youth and the Big Island community. Classes range from ballet to Hip-Hop, and feature adult dance classes as well.

• Kona Pacific Public Charter School (www.kppcs.org): The Kona Pacific Charter Schools weaves three key strands into its educational programs: Waldorf Inspired Education, Hawaiian Culture, Sustainable Agriculture, curriculum offers a holistic, hands-on, project-based education inspired by Waldorf education, promoting student achievement in language arts, math, science, visual arts, foreign languages, musical training and movement.

• UH Maui College / Culinary Arts Program (http://maui.hawaii.edu/culinary/): The University of Hawai‘i Maui College inspires students to develop knowledge and skills in pursuit of academic, career, and personal goals in a supportive educational environment that emphasizes community engagement, life long learning, sustainable living, Native Hawaiian culture, and global understanding. Our charge is to prepare our students for success in life and career by providing them the foundational skills of our profession. We hope to inspire our students to celebrate the diversity of food and cultures throughout the world and elevate their knowledge and appreciation of culinary arts.

• Waimea Country School (waimeacountryschool.org): Waimea Country School sustains a developmentally appropriate teaching and learning environment in which the individual student is nurtured and supported to become an independent thinker, self-disciplined and self-reliant, yet always aware of the needs of others and the common good. Both playful and serious, the School’s program encourages each child’s creativity and resourcefulness, guided by skillful and dedicated teachers, enhanced by small class size.

For tickets, room packages, or to make a donation, click HERE.

Past Beneficiaries

2018

The Kona Cacao Association presented our 5 Beneficiaries with $27,000 from our 2018 Festival Proceeds. Our community is making a huge difference in cacao education and supporting local organizations in the culinary, education and art community.

  • Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture (HIP Ag) (www.hipagriculture.org): The mission of HIP Ag is to practice and teach ecologically conscious agriculture, empowering individuals and communities to cultivate alternative systems of living that restore human and environmental health. HIP Agriculture is a growing community that cultivates a diverse collection of Polynesian crops and operates as an educational site offering sustainable agriculture courses, youth programming, community workshops and events.
  • Kona Dance & Performing Arts (www.konadanceandperformingarts.org): The mission Kona Dance & Performing Arts is Striving to provide high quality instruction and education in dance and performing arts to the local youth and the Big Island community. Classes range from ballet to Hip-Hop, and feature adult dance classes as well.
  • Kona Pacific Public Charter Schools (www.kppcs.org): The Kona Pacific Public Charter Schools weaves three key strands into its educational programs: Waldorf Inspired Education, Hawaiian Culture, Sustainable Agriculture, curriculum offers a holistic, hands-on, project-based education inspired by Waldorf education, promoting student achievement in language arts, math, science, visual arts, foreign languages, musical training and movement.
  • Waimea Country School (waimeacountryschool.org): Waimea Country School sustains a developmentally appropriate teaching and learning environment in which the individual student is nurtured and supported to become an independent thinker, self-disciplined and self-reliant, yet always aware of the needs of others and the common good. Both playful and serious, the School’s program encourages each child’s creativity and resourcefulness, guided by skillful and dedicated teachers, enhanced by small class size.

Visit Big Island Chocolate Festival for more information and updates regarding the Fundraising Gala Event.

 

2017

American Culinary Federation, Kona Kohala Chefs Association: The ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association members are industry leaders committed to culinary enrichments through professional development and education in our community. There are more than 50 chapter members, plus a College Junior Chef Chapter and a High School Junior Chef Chapter. The group includes food service professionals, vendors and growers. The ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association is a part of the American Culinary Federation.

Kona Dance & Performing Arts: The mission Kona Dance & Performing Arts is Striving to provide high quality instruction and education in dance and performing arts to the local youth and the Big Island community. Classes range from ballet to Hip-Hop, and feature adult dance classes as well.

Kona Pacific Charter Schools: The Kona Pacific Charter Schools weaves three key strands into its educational programs: Waldorf Inspired Education, Hawaiian Culture, Sustainable Agriculture, curriculum offers a holistic, hands-on, project-based education inspired by Waldorf education, promoting student achievement in language arts, math, science, visual arts, foreign languages, musical training and movement.

Waimea Country School’s Na Keiki Aloha ‘Aina: Waimea Country School is part of the Hawaii Island School Garden Network, whose mission it is to “help island schools build gardening and agricultural programs that will significantly contribute to the consumption of locally produced food.” The school garden is an outdoor classroom, fostering students’ appreciation of the natural world. Students spend time in the garden/yard daily with gardening projects integrated into the curriculum, when possible.

"We were able to donate over $21,000 to four local organizations to support their impact on our island." - Farsheed Bonakdar, President of the Kona Cacao Association

 

2016

The Kona Cacao Association presented the Director of Kona Pacific Public Charter School, Shanna Mall and Jean Hull, ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association for the culinary program at Hawai’i Community College – Pālamanui, with $6000 checks on Friday June 10th from proceeds raised at the Big Island Chocolate Festival held on May 15th. Kona Cacao Association Board members presenting the checks were Fern Gavelek, Nancy Sweatt, Delania Branham, Farsheed  Bonakdar, Laurie Mattos and Julie Ziemelis. (not pictured, Usha Kilpatrick)

“It was very gratifying to be able to present the checks to the leaders of the organizations we raise money for each year. Both Shanna and Jean accepted the checks knowing the impact those funds would have on the students both at Kona Pacific Public Charter School and at HCC-Palamanui,” Festival organizer Julie Ziemelis stated. “We could not do it alone and we thank all the chefs, sponsors, volunteers, and guests who helped us break our fundraising goal to provide funds to students in our community!”

 

2015

Hard work pays off when great causes benefit! Way to go Kona Cacao Association/ Big Island Chocolate Festival team and congrats and best wishes to Jean Hull of ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association and Shaheer Faltas of Kona Pacific - Pcs—keep doing all that you do for our students and community! We presented a $5000 check to each beneficiary in 2015. Mahalo to all the attendees of the Festival who supported the event AND the two beneficiaries!

Join the KCA

By joining together, KCA members can create opportunities that will help everyone involved in the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Join us as we journey towards creating an internationally recognized brand of cacao and chocolate products that are guaranteed sustainable, fair trade and high quality.