Archive - Giving Back RSS Feed

Tamara’s Gorgeous & Sustainable Hawaiian Wedding

Small destination weddings are something to consider if you desire to be more sustainable  with your event.  Five Years Ago today, we did just that when John and Gregg pulled together a “shotgun wedding” for me and my husband, Sam.  Although we felt our commitment from the day we met, we decided to make it a more formal union when we found out we were expecting a child. Our desire had been  to keep it simple and just elope, but John and Gregg , with their love for design and special events, had something else in mind.  So, they jumped on the occasion to help us make our union a special event, no matter how simple our expectations had been.

sustainable wedding,Wow Boyz,maienza wilson,hawaiian wedding,custom,vows,destination wedding,lava rock,tea leaf,beach wedding,Globally Gorgeous

Knowing  our love for the tropics and travel,  and with simplicity in mind, John made a list ; and,  within the day,  we were receiving faxes and signing on the dotted line to set a date to be married on a private beach in front of their home. This was a special place for me as it was one of the first start- to- finish projects I did with them…and went on to help style  a  photo shoot with Durston Saylor and Architectural Digest.

Continue Reading…

Heal the Ocean: Design, Celebrities and Awareness

Gregg and I went to “new depths” as  this year’s  co-chairs of the annual Heal the Ocean Blow Out Fundraiser held at the Four Season’s  La Pacifica Ballroom at the Coral Casino in Montecito, CA. Our theme was “Undersea Kelp Beds.

We kept the kelp theme consistent throughout the decor of the event with the help of  inspired artist Susan Venable’s beautiful graphic design coordination; the programs and menus became an integral part of the decor of each table.

heal the ocean,Wow Boyz,John Maienza,Gregg Wilson,maienza wilson,Globally Gorgeous,fundraiser,benifit concert,aierialist,fire dancers,coral casino,Montecito,california,hilary hauser,julia louise dreyfus,celebrity event

With the help of Jessica Risko-Smith and Shannon Venable we designed a “tide pool” centerpiece arrangement made from succulents and Protea blossoms.

heal the ocean,Wow Boyz,john maienza,Gregg Wilson,maienza wilson,Globally Gorgeous,fundraiser,benifit concert,aierialist,fire dancers,coral casino,Montecito,california,hilary hauser,julia louis-dreyfus,la pacifica ballroom,celebrity eventJulia Julia Louis-Drefus was the HTO event’s  Honorary Chair.  She is a brilliant, generous and really funny speaker who has graciously lent her name and talent to Heal the Ocean year after year.

Gregg Wilson and John Maienza, HTO event co-chairs and editors of
The evening was one of those perfect Santa Barbara indian summer nights,  complete with a beautiful sunset. The cocktail hour did not want to end; people just wanted to continue to party! It was hard to call 450 people to dinner and then  to leave this beautiful terrace by the sea.

Adventure & Environment – Have Fun and Teach the Keiki

Eia Mākou Mālama Maunalua

Eia mākou Mālama Maunalua! (We are Mālama Maunalua)

People of the ‘āina and ocean, those who dwell and care for beloved Maunalua
In the Kona district of O’ahu of Ali’i Kākuhihewa
Maunalua, where the ‘iwa flies above the clouds
‘Elepaio (native flycatcher) chatter and flutter among the koa
The twin feathers of the ‘auku’u (Black-crowned night heron) are tossed by the beach wind
And the schools of ‘ama’ama (mullet) swim below
From Kawaihoa (Portlock Point) where Kāne brought forth life-giving water
To the crashing waves of Kūpikipiki’ō (Black Point)
Kuamo’o-o-Kāne’apua (Koko Head) and Kohelepelepe (Koko Crater) are majestic
Maunalua extends to the cliffs of Pu’u-o-Kona (of Kuli’ou’ou) and Pu’u Lanipō (of Wai’ālae Nui)
To the reefs built by coral polyps, our kin, and the sandy flats where the sea grasses dance
Cherished is the fishpond, Ke’ahupua-o-Maunalua, its companion is Ka’elepulu (in Kailua)
Laukupu, a mo’o, is the guardian of Maunalua
The sea of Koko is for ‘Ouha, the akua manō (shark god) who stands guard
In honor of the akua (gods), our ‘aumakua (family gods), and kūpuna kahiko (ancestors)
We take on this kuleana to learn, share, laulima (work together), and persevere
Our spirits fly high like the ‘iwa above, our intentions, true and deep as Kanaloa’s seas
We will protect, honor, and mālama Maunalua to the last breath
Eia mākou ‘o Mālama Maunalua! (We are Mālama Maunalua)

Lance “Mahi” La Pierre, Maunalua, Kona, O’ahu, May 9, 2008

A remarkable effort led by just a few our friends and neighbors and a small core group of donors led to a partnership with The Nature Conservancy and to an award of Fed Stimulus Money (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) specifically for this Alien Algae Removal Project as reported KHON2 News. This grass roots local group put a grant proposal together for what really is a “shovel ready” project. We can personally attest to the fact that there is no wasteful or ambiguous allocation of funds going on here. See News video.
Be Green 2: Fed Stimulus Money Going to Algae Removal Project – The stimulus money is specifically for a removal of invasive alien algae project that is under the  direction of Mālama Maunalua. MM still is a under funded organization that operates on a shoe string. Here is a link to their site where donations can be made to this fantastically effective non-profit group. Mālama Maunalua, in association with The Nature Conservancy and NOAA MM is really making a difference in the restoration and preservation of this Beautiful Bay.
Alien algae have been recognized as one of the top threats to our oceans’ health and recovery, in Hawai‘i and elsewhere. This threat is exacerbated by sedimentation from land-based sources which helps invasive algae get established and grow on reef flats. Compounding the problem, fishing pressure has dramatically reduced populations of plant-eating species like parrotfishes (uhu) and sea urchins. Once established, invasive algae drastically alter the seabed by smothering and killing corals and seagrass meadows, and overwhelming and destroying habitat for other reef life.
View of Maunalua By from our Lanai at our Black Point Property.

Aerial Photo showing a “Patch” of removed alien algae and it is not coming back!
Algea is removed like this, pick it up and stick it in the bag after inspecting contents for sea life.
Bags are transferred to Canoes or Kayaks then brought ashore and weight and carted off for bio reuse, such as mulching.
Teaching the Keiki (children) is a very important aspect of the community outreach. Getting them to the beach to watch and participate leads to an understanding that they will inherit this responsibility. Understanding the relationship between the Makua and Makai (the mountains and the sea) is something that Keiki need to learn early. Here Congressman Neil Abercrombie Representative of Hawaii’s 1st District, instructs Keiki for a photo op.


Heal The Ocean Benefit in Montecito, Ca.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus was a hysterical talking about “s**t and piss, let’s face it, that’s what we’re talking about” prior to dinner at the annual gala benefiting Heal the Ocean on September 26. You can learn more about Ms. Dreyfus’s charity work at Look to the Stars the world of celebrity giving.

This exquisite ‘fabulous fish” puppet created by Matthew McAvene was just one of a cast of creations for part of the post dinner and auction entertainment.

Mr McAvene and Jean-Michel Cousteau (right) pose with fishy friends just part of the cast of The Big Fabulous Fish Show.

Page 9 of 9« First...«56789
Best of Houzz 2014 - Design
This professional's portfolio was voted most popular by the Houzz community.
Awarded on January 30, 2014