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Mala’ai School Garden’s ‘Art & Sol’ Benefit Auction is April 13

During a recent trip to Waimea Middle School’s Mala’ai Culinary Garden with the James Beard’s Foundation’s celebrity chefs, famous mixologist Manny Hinojosa had a chance to spend time working with the middle school students. They worked together to create a a “mocktail” – a non-alcoholic drink made from scratch with fresh ingredients, mostly from their school garden.

Hinojosa will return to offer his skills for a cocktail party donation for the winning bidder and 15 guests at Mala’ai school garden’s 7th Annual Art & Sol benefit auction from 12:30-3 p.m., Sunday, April 13, at Waimea’s Merriman’s Restaurant. Mala’ai students staff, volunteers will gather the ingredients from their garden for what will be a rare opportunity to have a celebrity mixologist crafting drinks for your own private party.

All auction items have been donated by a Hawaii Island artists or patrons to support Mala’ai.There are many other rare pleasures being offered during Mala’ai’s Art & Sol benefit this year including:

· A kapa by Waimea master Roen Hufford

· An exquisite koa rocking chair by master furniture woodworker Stan Gollaher of Raiatea Woodworks in Paauilo

· An 8-by-3.5-foot giclee of an extraordinary sunset photograph capturing a sun-drenched pu’u atop Mauna Kea casting its “shadow” on the distant horizon as captured by Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope astronomer Jean-Charles Cuillandre.

· A private sunset sail on a 55-foot ketch;

· Gourmet locavore feasts by private chefs with wine pairings;

· Farmer Charles Oldfather and three handsome savvy gardener friends building a raised garden bed for your home

· Fresh Fruit or Vegetable Baskets, certificates for restaurants, facials, massages and more.

Auctioneer for the event will be Pat Batchelder of Waimea. Art & Sol will include delicious Merriman’s garden and farm fresh pupus paired with wine or a signature garden cocktail.

Mala’ai: The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School is Hawaii Island’s model school garden, which was first planted nine years ago as an outdoor living classroom to grow real change for Waimea’s children and community. From the beginning, Mala’ai has been funded almost entirely by generous community friends and foundations as a private not-for-profit partnership with Waimea Middle School. Mala`ai’s program integrates nutrition education and cultural and environmental stewardship with core curriculum and hands-on learning.

All proceeds go towards supporting healthy choices and making lifelong learners out of our keiki and community. Art & Sol tickets are $50 per person and may be purchased via PayPal at www.malaai.org. For more information, contact Alethea Lai at alethea@malaai.org or 989-7861. For more information on the exceptional list of auction items offered and to get your ticket today, visit the Mala’ai website.