KaiAloha Supply partners with Whale Trust to support annual whale conference for residents and researchers in the nation


Whale Trust is an environmental nonprofit organization on the island of Maui whose team strives to provide educational opportunities through their research. On February 16-18, they held their annual Whale Tales event at The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua, bringing community members and neighboring organizations together. This multi-day event showcased the latest studies and findings around whales and their ocean environment. The event also offered fundraising opportunities, film screenings, expert presentations, and gallery expos made accessible online and in person. KaiAloha Supply donated 100 shirts for their volunteers and research team to wear for Whale Tales and future community events. 


In its nearly two-decade history, Whale Tales has become a prestigious marine science conference, uniting researchers and ocean enthusiasts worldwide. (Photo by Bryan Berkowitz) 


"Our volunteers do so much and are always so grateful. We are so happy we get to give them new volunteer shirts, all thanks to your team at KaiAloha!" communication and events manager at Whale Trust, Emma Hearne said.


Whale Tales is a scientific conference led by their small research team. However, the success of the organization would not be possible without the help from their volunteers. This year, there were over 60 volunteers (both residents and from the mainland) who came together to help make this year's event happen. Every volunteer was gifted a new t-shirt, donated by KaiAloha Supply.


Volunteers assisted with event attendee sign-ins, lead instructors for the keiki program, organized fundraising ballots, and so much more. (Photo by Bryan Berkowitz)


Volunteers attended a Mahalo Whale Watch, coordinated by Whale Trust as a way to share their gratitude for their time and efforts. (Photo by Bryan Berkowitz)


In addition, Whale Trust's keiki program returned for the first time since 2020. There were over 170 4th and 5th graders that attended from the Westside. The students were able to learn about technology, whale song, disentanglement, anatomy, and so much more. They arrived to the Ritz-Carlton on a school bus, the morning of the event. Once they arrived, they were provided with a more hands-on and engaging experience and were able to dive into more whale teachings. 


Most of the keiki this year were students affected by the Lahaina fires. Communication and events manager for Whale Trust, Emma Hearne shared that being able to provide this educational experience for them, made it that much more special and heartwarming for their team and everyone at the Ritz. (Photo by Bryan Berkowitz)


The program finished with When We Shine Foundation and Pomaika'i Choir performing sing along songs for the kids. (Photo by Bryan Berkowitz)


"Funds raised through Whale Tales 2024 will not only contribute to whale research but also support restoration efforts in Lahaina and its surrounding natural environment. Whale Trust’s primary goal for Whale Tales 2024 is to serve as a source of hope and inspiration for Hawaii residents and visitors alike. The event underscores the power of collective efforts to rebuild and preserve Maui, embracing a broader commitment to community well-being." Emma Hearne