MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Wildfires in Hawaii have devastated the small town of Lahaina. Many are left with nowhere to call home and the death toll in the state is now at least 110.
Local businesses in Downtown Mobile are doing their part to contribute to relief efforts through the annual “Mobile Tiki Week” event.
The Hawaiian themed event is hosted at 22 eateries and bars throughout downtown.
The week-long celebration takes place in August every year and folks get the chance to dress up in tropical print and enjoy the tiki decorations, special menus with crafted cocktails and sometimes food.
This year, some of the proceeds are going to victims in Hawaii trying to recuperate from the wildfires that left a trail of death and destruction.
Organizers and participants of Mobile Tiki Week said the decision to step in and help out was an easy one to make.
“Tiki, as an American kind of culture owes a lot to Hawaii and its Indigenous peoples and culture so it only makes sense that we, you know, honor those people and give back to them when they’re at their most vulnerable and at their biggest time of need,” Mobile Tiki Week organizer Roy Clark said. “It’s really devastating what’s going on out there. It’s awful.”
Matt LeMond owns four bars that are participating in Mobile Tiki Week. He said being able to give back is the greatest gift.
“I think everybody had the same idea that it’d be a good opportunity for us to give back to those who are going through that right now,” LeMond said. “On the Gulf Coast, we know what it’s like to go through some natural disasters, and so it’s nice to go and help some other people in times of need knowing that we’ve been in their shoes before.”
Each business decides how they want to contribute. Some are giving a percentage of their total sales during tiki week and others are donating a dollar per item sold to help evacuees in Hawaii.
Mobile Tiki Week ends Saturday, Aug. 19.