2023 has gotten off to a fast start for us here at Ohana Motorsports Foundation and it’s been a great first quarter (plus two weeks) to say the least. We started with a cloudy and wet Cars & Coffee Hawaii at Ko’olau Center on the 28th of January. When we crossed the H-3 and first rolled in for setup, we were a bit skeptical about proceeding and wondered if anyone would even show up. Boy were we wrong. Despite the rain, over 200 vehicles came out, even the two Miata convertibles we said to leave at home in the garage. That’s dedicated! Luckily the rain dissipated to just a light drizzle off and on for the rest of the morning and everyone was able to stay dry-ish while walking around and enjoying all the awesome rides. A few people may have been hiding out with Ikaika in IREP and taking their time doing some shopping. Smart! We had plenty to give away from all of our great sponsors and partners, and what looked like a rain out turned into a great morning with a great crowd that then convoyed over to the Navy Exchange Parking lot immediately afterwards to join in the memorial cruise #4ALANA.
Fast forward a month and our February Cars & Coffee made its way back to the west side at Ka Makana Ali’I Center. Luckily the rain stayed away this time and it turned out to be a beautiful morning. Nearly 500 vehicles came out and we had to direct overflow to the other side of The Cheesecake Factory! We had everything from rolling project cars still in progress, to motorcycles, to Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and an awesome showing by both a Porsche club and GTR club. There was no shortage of awesome rides to gawk at. This event was special for us as we held a fundraiser for John and his family, a friend of one of our Ohana Motorsports Foundation members. John is a veteran who unfortunately was diagnosed with a terminal bladder cancer and needed assistance with medical bills and house repairs. In total, between our $1,000 commitment, a matching donation from Skallywag Offroad, as well as a donation from Right Hand Drive Hawaii and of course all of you, we were able to raise $2500 for John and his family that was transferred via Venmo. He continues to fight and his entire family is thankful for everyone’s generosity during their time of need.
Then came March and our Cars and Coffee at Ala Moana Center. Ala Moana is always one of the more popular locations as it’s one of the original Cars and Coffee Hawaii meeting places from years ago and many people make a day of it by shopping and eating afterwards. We perhaps underestimated just how popular this event would be as approximately 800 vehicles filled up the entire Morton’s parking lot, the Macy’s parking lot, and down at the first level food court parking area! Wow was an understatement. It probably didn’t hurt that we partnered up with Honolulu Exotics to raffle off a Lamborghini driving experience for charity. Special thanks to Amy and Jeremy for offering such an awesome prize and bringing out the Lamborghini Club of Hawaii with ten awesome supercars, to help us raise money for Aaron, a member of the Aloha Mustang and Shelby Club of Hawaii who had a stroke recently and was needing some help with medical and rehabilitation bills. Between donations and raffle tickets, we raised $1400 for Aaron which was delivered to his club president while he’s still recovering and rehabbing. We’re happy to hear that Aaron is making great progress and we hope he’ll be able to join us at some of our events later in the year.
Wrapping up our first quarter summary (plus two weeks), was the first of two Aloha Motor Fest events in 2023 at Ka Makana Ali’i. This night event wound up with 219 vehicles vying for their share of 26 different trophies and over $1500 in prizes and giveaways. More than 500 different entrants and spectators used our app to walk around and vote for the People’s Choice Best in Show and Top 20. We also gave away trophies for Best Bike, Best EV, Best Lighting, Best Club Representation, and Best Club Theme. It was an awesome display of cars, trucks, bikes, and jeeps of all different eras and styles and the atmosphere was exciting. Congratulations to all of the winners. Pictures are coming soon to our social media accounts and website. We also began the first of a two part fundraiser for baby James Bitzer, a three year old that was recently diagnosed with a rare stage four cancer and will ultimately have to relocate to New York with his family in order to receive the care needed to try and beat this heartbreaking diagnosis. James’ father is a Lifeguard here on island and has spent almost 15 years supporting the community and saving lives. James’ mother is a conservation dog trainer and both have given countless hours back to the people of Oahu. Ohana Motorsports Foundation originated from and is rooted in a similar situation where the young daughter of fellow automotive enthusiasts was diagnosed with an extremely rare and terminal form of childhood cancer. Our foundation felt compelled to assist however we could as this situation struck a chord in all of our members’ hearts. So far we’ve raised just under $700 and we’ll continue to take donations at part two of our fundraiser, Cars and Coffee at Ka Makana Ali’I on the 30th of April. You can also donate at any time through our website, www.ohanamotorsportsfoundation.com if you can’t make our event or feel compelled to help. All donations go straight to helping James and his family with the treatment and relocation costs.
It’s been a great 3 and-a-half months to start 2023 and we can’t wait to see how the rest of the year unfolds. Our mission is to provide safe, fun, family-friendly automotive events for everyone to enjoy all while bringing awareness and fundraising to organizations, causes, and individuals in need within our community. Thanks to the support of our great sponsors and partners, as well as all of you, we are well on the way! To date, we’ve raised just under $4600 dollars for three families with lots more to come. We’d like to thank Texaco Hawaii, Battery Bill’s, Tipsy Pig II Bar & Grill, Shea’s Luxury Detailing, Island Driver TV, HELE, MJ Motorsports, IREP Detail, Black Belle Tinting, Prolific Fabrication and Suspension, BExclusive, Skallywag Offroad, the Aloha Mustang & Shelby Club of Hawaii, and Team Shelby Hawaii. Without their support none of this would be possible. Mahalo nui loa! We look forward to seeing everyone later this month and throughout the year. Stay up to date on all of our events and all of the latest information at our website and on our social media accounts and pages. Shoots!