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Calabash & Cooks Serves Up Support for Mālama Learning Center, October 15 

Photo Credit: Mālama Learning Center

Popular island chefs and public school culinary students will get things cooking serving dishes inspired by our islands’ diverse cultures

KAPOLEI – Chop chop! Tickets are now on sale for Mālama Learning Center’s popular Calabash & Cooks fundraiser, which makes its return Saturday, October 15, 2022, at Kapolei High School. The event will take place from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. and feature live entertainment, a silent auction and country store, as well as delicious dishes created and prepared by Leeward O`ahu public school culinary students as well as professional chefs from popular local restaurants including Roy’s Ko Olina and Kalapawai Café and Deli. 

The event is a fundraiser for Mālama Learning Center and its work to inspire communities to care for Hawai‘i by connecting conservation, culture, and education. Tickets start at $50 for general admission and $85 for VIP. Youth tickets are available for $25 for keiki ages 5 to 15. In recognition of educators, teachers of grades K-12 students have a discount of 10% off their pre-sale ticket. A limited number of tickets will be available for $60 at the door on event day. For additional information, or to purchase tickets online visit

“Not only does Calabash & Cooks raise awareness for our mission and work, it celebrates our students from West O`ahu and gives them an opportunity to shine while gaining invaluable real-world experience,” said Pauline Sato, Executive Director for Mālama Learning Center. “This event – and our programs – would not be possible without the generous support we receive from our partners and the community, as we work to instill in the next generation the importance of caring for our ‘āina.”

Guests also won’t want to miss the popular silent auction and country store featuring locally made food items, clothing, and artwork; native Hawaiian plants; outdoor products; guest experiences; and produce picked fresh from neighboring farms.  

At the event, organizers will announce the establishment of the Al Nagasako Kaulike Fund in honor of the late Al Nagasako, Kapolei High’s first principal and a founding board member of Mālama Learning Center. This fund will support field trips to Mālama Learning Center’s ecosystem restoration projects for West O`ahu schools that may not have the funds for these hands-on experiences. 

“Al was a fighter for the underdog and always believed that everyone should have a fair chance to thrive and succeed regardless of their financial circumstances. This fund honors his values,” said Elden Esmeralda, Board President of Mālama Learning Center and former principal of Kapolei High School who was mentored by Mr. Nagasako.

Proceeds from Calabash & Cooks will benefit the Mālama Learning Center, a community nonprofit that brings art, science, conservation and culture together to promote sustainable living throughout Hawai‘i. 

Current sponsors for the event include:

  • Presenting Sponsor: Hawaiian Electric
  • Mōhala Sponsor: Island Energy Services
  • Mu’o Sponsor: Ko Olina Resort, Kaiser Permanente, Wai`anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
  • Lau Sponsor: The Gentry Companies
  • Liko Sponsor: Embassy Suites by Hilton O`ahu Kapolei, Residence Inn by Marriott O`ahu Kapolei
  • Kupu Sponsor: Corteva Agriscience, Hunt Companies, R.M. Towill Corporation

For more information about Mālama Learning Center’s Calabash & Cook’s visit or call (808) 305-8287. Also, follow Mālama Learning Center on Facebook at, on Instagram at and on Twitter at


About Mālama Learning Center

Since its inception in 2004, Mālama Learning Center has worked to unify schools, residents, and businesses in West Oʻahu through education that incorporates art, science, conservation and culture. Mālama Learning Center uses a hands-on approach to learning, preparing its participants for diverse real-world experiences and 21st century careers.

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