The Fraternal Order of Moai has acquired the iconic fountain from the famous Kahiki Supper Club in Columbus, Ohio, for preservation and public display.
The Moai, a non-profit 501(c)(10) organization founded in 2005, successfully won the fountain at a recent auction of items from the Kahiki, a beautiful Polynesian-themed restaurant that opened 1961 and closed in 2000.
The largest piece in this auction was the Monkey Fountain, known as "George," that greeted people as they entered the lobby. Millions of people posed for pictures next to George while the restaurant was operating. Since 2000 George has been installed in the lobby of the Kahiki Foods building.
The Moai, in collaboration with the Grass Skirt Tiki Room in Columbus, plan to relocate George to the restaurant and put him on display in working order. Ownership of the fountain will be retained by the organization. This will allow tikiphiles and Kahiki Supper Club fans to visit him and pose for pictures once again.
Matthew "Kuku Ahu" Thatcher, national president, said, "The Moai are passionate about preservation of artifacts from the lost tiki temples like the Kahiki and this was an opportunity to secure a large signature item and place it on public display instead of a private collection." Joel "Cowtown Kahuna" Gunn, national vice president, added, "A chance to secure an item like George is very rare and we had limited time to act, we have missed similar opportunities in the past. We are fortunate that Kahiki Foods decided to preserve the fountain in a new location so we could have this second chance."
The board of directors for the Fraternal Order of Moai held an urgent meeting and authorized funds to bid for the fountain. Individual chapters of the Order around the United States pledged donations for the effort. A donation was also made by owners of the The Grass Skirt Tiki Room in Columbus, Ohio. The Grass Skirt recently worked with the Kahiki Chapter of the Order on the revival of the Hot Rod Hula Hop, a three day tiki themed event in Columbus. Proceeds from the event were donated to Cure CMD, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to bringing research, treatments and in the future, a cure for Congenital Muscular Dystrophies.
The bidding for the fountain was extremely active and the cost rose quickly in the final minutes of the auction. But the tiki gods saw fit to have the price of the winning bid within our means and the auction was won by a representative of The Moai.
There is a great deal of work to be done to relocate the fountain and there will be more expenses. So stay tuned for the next chapter in the story of George.
Keep the Torches Burning,
-Tagata Maori Rogorogo