Nā Koa Kai Canoe Club, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity organizations whose mission is to turn the tide on child obesity in our country by encouraging a lifestyle of fitness and health wellness and to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture based around the Hawaiian canoe. To conduct Hawaiian outrigger canoe regattas and festivals whose purpose is to teach leadership, teamwork, and create an opportunity for our youths and our community to experience through participation the essence of the Hawaiian culture.
Nā Koa Kai Canoe Club was founded by Uncle Gus & Auntie Casey in November of 2011. Nā Koa Kai Canoe Club translates in English to “Sea Warriors”. The organization’s name was unanimously chosen by our first group of youth members from a list of ten different names. From the beginning this organization was built from the ground up with our youths being a key part of the process.
Nā Koa Kai Canoe has helped change the lives of many youths from underserved communities by teaching them leadership and self-confidence. We have taken the most introverted youths and allowed them to flourish into social butterflies by putting them in gradually increasing roles of leadership responsibility. We have also educated our youths in ethnic diversity as they have learned a great deal about the Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian values such as caring for the land, the sea, and one another. We continuously emphasize the importance of physical exercise and eating the right types of foods including healthier substitute ingredients for the most common foods they have in their diet. We also work with visually impaired youths and integrate them into our regular programs so they don’t feel as if they need to be segregated from non-visually impaired students.
As part of our Hawaiian cultural immersion program, we also take our youths to Hawaii so they can experience the culture, history, geography, and the people first-hand. In short, we teach them to dream! We take youths who when they start our programs often never dream about leaving their neighborhoods in the intercity. After a few years in our programs, they learn to dream and dream big. For this reason we partner with other nonprofits to help raise financial scholarships for our youths so they can afford to participate in traditional and non-traditional secondary education. It’s very rewarding to see many of them going off to college with a strong work ethic and a can-do attitude that will serve them well in adulthood.
Currently our main source of income is two large fundraisers and sponsorships for those fundraisers.
The first and largest fundraiser is known as the San Diego Shaka Fest held each year on San Diego Mission Bay. We describe this event as the fusions of Hawaiian Culture, Arts, and Athletics. This fundraiser brings together a diverse group of people from all walks of life who love Hawaii. The festival encompasses a stand up paddle, race, a youth only Hawaiian outrigger canoe regatta, live Polynesian entertainment all day long on two stages, a cultural village, and plenty of vendors. The San Diego Shaka Fest continues to grow and be a very successful non-alcohol family oriented event.
Our second fundraiser is our Duke Longboard Lūʻau. This lūʻau includes some great local sponsors and is a very festive event that brings together many of our supporters for an evening under the stars of traditional Hawaiian food and entertainment. The silent and live auction with many of its unique hand-made Pacific Islander style of crafts is a great draw. This event takes place at the very exclusive Morgan Run Resort and Spa located in the neighborhood of Ranch Santa Fe.
Because we are an all-volunteer ran nonprofit, 100 percent of the proceeds raised at our events go towards operational costs and our programs.
If you have more questions about our organization or just want to talk story, please feel free to email or call us, ya!
Mahalo nui loa!