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Good News in Extraordinary Times

April 25, 2020



Summer Carrick, KBF Media

Kate Jacobson, KBF Director

For Immediate and Enthusiastic Release

One of the surprising lessons for me is how festivals contribute to social cohesion and positivity. We all need to stay home and safe now, so we can gather together again in celebration of each other and our beautiful island life. -Kate Jacobson, Kona Brewers Festival Director


The Ke Kai Ala Foundation wishes to extend deep gratitude to our Kona Brewers Festival ohana for stepping up with generosity and aloha. The March 14th fundraising event was called off two days prior as news of the fast-moving pandemic was breaking. “At the time, it was a hard decision, but now, looking back, we absolutely made the right call to put people first. We are happy to share that even though we had already incurred many expenses, we raised $90,000. All pre-approved Beneficiaries will be receiving 75% of projected fundraising goals,” said Jacobson.


Mahalo to the Kona Brewing Company who donated $100,000, The Healy Foundation’s matching grant of $25,000, Southwest Airlines gift of $16,000, dozens of other business sponsors and the hundreds of fans who donated their tickets to fund important community work supporting the environment, culture and youth.


“We are so impressed by the agility and resilience of our Beneficiaries who are moment by moment, reinventing how to deliver programs and services. This is not easy to do, and we have great respect for them being so strong and smart in these extraordinary times”, says Kate Jacobson. “We understand the challenge of uncertainty and that now, more than ever, our commitment to collaboration and sustainable practices needs to be at the forefront of how we move forward”.


“What a lot of people don’t know about the Kona Brew Fest is that it is first and foremost, a community celebration.  Organizers don’t put on a festival, our community does.  We just connect people.  The spirit of community is what founded this event, and especially in times like these, the community together is what sustains it,” Said Summer Carrick, KBF Organizer.  With more than 500 volunteers, donated food and beer, and everyone chipping in with their gifts, the festival relies on the generosity of island business, community groups, and the people to make the beloved gathering a success for 25 years.  “To see the support rolling in since the day we announced the cancellation, from the homebrewers to the fans sending in checks, it really shows how much this event means to our island Ohana.”


The Kona Brewers Festival has made emergency grants available through tough times before, from the 2011 tsunami to the Kilauea eruptions of 2018, the spirit of generosity is central to the work. The Kai Ki Ala Foundation Chair Mattson Davis asked organizers to “Dig deep, be generous, and this too shall pass, we will get through this. The state of Hawaii is very resilient, has gotten through so many things, even when our economy is so dependent on tourism.  There is going to be a lot called upon you in the next months.  Your friends may reach out to you. Be creative.”


Organizers plan to make the popular Kona Brewers Festival merchandise available for sale and will be announcing a retail page for soon at The website also has a complete list of Sponsors and Beneficiaries


In looking forward to our next 25th Anniversary on March 13, 2021, Kate Jacobson hopes that “we are inspired by this raw awareness of our interconnectedness and learn new ways to create a sustainable future that fully supports each and every one of us”.

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