We are very pleased to announce that after closing the books for Ohana Luau at the Lake 2013 the Fraternal Order of Moai, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(10) organization founded in 2005, has donated $8,000 to the Easter Island Foundation to support scholarships for youth from the island of Rapa Nui and the foundation's general fund. The Easter Island Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1989, was named by the Moai as our national charity in 2008.
Funds for this gift, including a portion of general event proceeds as well as silent auction and mystery bowl auction donations, were raised at Ohana Luau at the Lake 2013 in Lake George, New York thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, donors, performers, and attendees. Everyone had a fantastic time at the event while this money was raised so this was truly fun with a purpose!
The gift has been split into four parts.
First, $3,000 will be offered as a renewed The Fraternal Order of Moai Scholarship to a Rapa Nui student for use in paying college expenses. Preference will be given to those students who intend to return with skills to benefit the Rapa Nui people and island upon graduation. The first Fraternal Order of Moai Scholarship was awarded in 2010. The 2013 scholarship was awarded to Lafquen Passalcqua Hucke. Lafquen is in her fourth year of studying social anthropology at the Universidad Católica de Temuco. Her studies include recognition of the importance of the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples. It is her belief that cultural knowledge should not only be preserved, but also transmitted to future generations to encourage pride in their ancestry. Through her education, Lafquen wants to document the cultural traditions and the ancestral knowledge of the Rapa Nui elders.
Second, $2,500 will be offered as a renewed The Fraternal Order of Moai Tangata Manu Scholarship named for the bird-man competition that took place on the island of Rapa Nui. The first Tangata Manu Scholarship was awarded in 2011. The 2013 scholarship was awarded to Pamina Olivares Paoa. Pamina is in her fifth year at the School of Architecture and Design, Pontifica Universidad Catolica, Valparaíso. The study of architecture has enabled her to combine two subjects she is passionate about: art and history. After she completes her studies, she would like to work towards reinforcing two of the island’s economic mainstays: fishing and tourism. One of her ideas is to develop a long term project working with other disciplines towards creating a marine reserve on the island for endangered species, with the goal of having a sustainable ecosystem. She is also interested in preserving the ancestral methods of fishing to both revive these traditions and use them for tourism. She envisions development of an interpretive trail along the coastline that emphasizes the importance of fishing and marine resources to the ancestral Rapanu that will help educate visitors about the island’s coastal resources.
Third, $1,500 will be offered as a new The Fraternal Order of Moai Ohana Scholarship named for the event where these funds are raised. We look forward to announcing the names of the students who have been awarded these scholarships early next year.
And finally, $1,000 will be donated to the Easter Island Foundation's general fund to support the other work of the foundation which includes promoting conservation and protection of the fragile cultural heritage of Easter Island and other Polynesian islands. Among its many projects, the Foundation established the William Mulloy Library on the island; funds archaeological research; publishes a series of books about Easter Island and Polynesia; publishes Rapa Nui Journal; and sponsors conferences about Easter Island and Polynesia.
The fun will continue in the coming year. Plans for Ohana Luau at the Lake 2014 in June are rolling along. Come join the Moai June 27-29, 2014, and experience fun with a purpose for yourself. Find more information online at www.LuauAtTheLake.com, Facebook.com/OhanaLuau, and @TheMoai.
Keep the torches burning,
—Tagata Maori Rogorogo