The Pacific Islander Club will be hosting the second annual Polynesian Luau in the Peter W. Stott Center on Saturday, April 17.
The luau will feature food, dancing and fun from Pacific Island nations, and all for a good cause. In addition to raising awareness of the Pacific Islander community at PSU, $1000 of the money raised by the luau will be given to Whitiker Middle School to start a mentoring program.
Club president Havea Fuapau said that he got the idea to give back to the Portland community after the failure of Measure 28, last year.
“When they are shutting down schools and building new prisons, you know something isn’t right. We want to help these kids stay in school and on the right track,” he said.
Last year, the club donated $1000 to Harriet Tubman Middle School and is still involved with the mentoring program there.
Fuapau, who graduates this year, hopes that the club will continue in his philanthropic vision, and that he will be able to reach more members of the community.
“I will be speaking at the luau, and I will be trying to inspire people to continue doing this, but I am also targeting parents, because I want to get the message to them to keep their kids on track and realize how important higher education is in the long-run,” Faupau said.
Fuapau’s vision doesn’t stop at the luau.
Two upcoming events are also planned to benefit Humbolt Elementary School. The two on-campus concerts featuring singers of Pacific Islander descent. A concert Fuapau calls “the small concert” will take place on April 23 at 7 pm in the Smith Ballroom and will feature singers Norm, Bet and Hoonua.
Fuapau believes that music is the best way to reach and educate people about the Pacific Islander culture.
“When people think of Hawaii, they think of hula dancing. When people think of the Pacific Islands, they think of paradise. We want to reach people through music, as other cultures do, and educate people about our culture,” said Fuapau.
The “big” concert will also take place in the Smith Ballroom, on May 22 at 7 pm and will feature popular Hawaiian recording artist Pati Nesian, as well as (are you ready, kids?) a beer garden.
Tickets for the luau are $10 for students and faculty with ID, $15 general admission, on all tickets sold beforehand and $20 at the door.