After devastating school blaze, community rallies to replace what it lost

(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Asa Ellison)
(Image: Asa Ellison)

KAHULUI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kahului Elementary School is scheduled to be reopen on Monday after a million-dollar arson fire heavily damaged parts of the campus.

Now, the Maui community is rallying behind the school to provide supplies it is not getting from the Department of Education.

Parents of the elementary school started a fundraiser to help pay for the damage and to replace the supplies that were lost.

As of Friday afternoon, they reached about $6,695. They have a $100,000 goal.

Maui police and fire investigators are still trying to determine what caused the blaze. The fire caused at least $1.2 million dollars in damage, gutted six classrooms and damaged the school's water lines.

As police try to track down the arsonist or arsonists, one local company is giving back to its most loyal school customer.

"I said, Steve, somebody's gotta do something, why not you?" said Steven Gold, President of School Kine Cookies.

School Kine Cookies started with two cafeteria school ladies who loved to bake back in the 1980s.

For the past 10 years, Kahului Elementary School has been selling their cookies for fundraisers.

Gold is now calling on the Hawaii community to lend a helping hand this holiday season.

"When I looked at their GoFundMe page, they only hit $6,000 or $7,000. For a $100,000 goal, that's not getting too far. So I felt like I needed to do whatever I could and maybe I will be successful, maybe I won't. But that's not the point. The point is I'm gonna try," Gold said.

The funds will go toward student supplies, teaching materials and rebuilding of classrooms.

Gold pledges to match a portion of the donations and present it to the school before Christmas.

"I just want to remind people to have a great holiday but remember other people that may not be having such a great holiday, you know, share," said Gold.

The Department of Education says it is working on repairing or replacing damaged fixtures and buildings and its grateful for the community's support. The DOE would not answer why the school community must pay to replace its supplies or allow anyone to be interviewed.

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