You know its going to be an unusual night out when it starts with “Should we bring the 4-wheel drive?” With reports of heavy rain upcountry, we were advised to “bring an umbrella” and “be careful in the mud”.
We were heading to one of Maui’s numerous annual fundraisers, but instead of heading towards the resort towns of Wailea or Kaanapali, full of fancy hotels, ballrooms and valet attendants, we were driving up Haleakala, towards the dark clouds and pouring rain. We were making our way to horse country for Carden Academy’s Jamboree, which takes place, literally, on a polo field. We made it easily through the muddy back roads to the Oskie Rice field, and in typical ‘Maui Moment’ fashion, the rain let up as soon as we opened the car doors.
The welcoming sight of illuminated party tents, which were warm and dry, helped us instantly forget about the damp and dreary weather (being greeted with a glass of champagne helps with that, too). Instead of the typical aloha shirts, fancy slippers and resort wear, or sometimes even evening attire that is normally seen at these functions, everyone was decked out in their finest jeans, plaid shirts and an impressive selection of cowboy boots and hats. And, since this is an Upcountry Maui event, some of these people were actual cowboys and girls.
There was too much going on to list everything that happened at the Jamboree, but some of the highlights included a fantastic buffet of BBQ food by Three’s Bar and Grill, a cocktail bar by Dazoo, featuring Ocean Vodka, a homemade pie contest (this year’s winner – Nova Burnes with a chocolate meringue), an extensive silent auction, and a live auction with several once in a lifetime experiential and gift items.
A professional auctioneer was imported all the way from Oahu, assisted by Tamalyn Baldwin, literally ‘cracking the whip’. Tamalyn, aside from being the head wrangler at her family’s Piiholo Ranch, supplied one of the live auction items, a custom piece of jewelry from her collection, Vaquera Maui. Another high-interest live auction item was a gift basket by world-champion surfer Kai Lenny, which included a stand-up paddling lesson by the champion himself.
Rounding out the evening was dancing to live music by Country Knights. If you missed the event (or if you were there!), here are some more of the photos from the event (click to see a larger version):