Categorized | Entertainment, Featured

Makuakane wins Miss Ka‘u Coffee 2010

Ulu Makuakane was crowned Miss Ka‘u Coffee in Pahala on March 27. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Claire Suzuki)

Ulu Makuakane was crowned Miss Ka‘u Coffee in Pahala on March 27. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Claire Suzuki)


Alesha ‘Ulu’ Makuakane played water polo in the morning and won Miss Ka‘u Coffee in the evening. On Saturday, March 27, the Ka‘u High School senior woke up, traveled to Kea‘au to captain her water polo team against Kamehameha-Hawaii, and zoomed back to Pahala to the pageant.

Pageant judge Nona Wilson, director of nursing at Ka‘u Hospital, said Ulu and her infectious smile are “from the heart” and she touched everyone with her goal of helping native Hawaiians improve health through good nutrition and fitness.

Veteran Hawaiian entertainer and judge Sammi Fo said, “Ulu’s hula brought tears to my eyes.”

(Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Dorothy Staskawicz)

Makuakane also won the Talent and the Interview trophies. During the interview, she talked about the future of Ka‘u coffee. She praised the hard work of the displaced sugar workers who have created a world-class coffee and industry for themselves since the Pahala sugar mill closed in 1996.

Makuakane,17, is the daughter of Pahala Community Center manager Winona Makuakane and Paul Makuakane. The family lives in Waiohinu. Makuakane plans to attend college and major in health and human nutrition.

“Obesity has become a major issue for Hawaiians, and I want to help these people lower these statistics so they can live healthy and active lifestyles,” she said.

Makuakane said she loves Ka‘u “because it is an undeveloped district with agriculture and pristine beaches. As a native Hawaiian, it is my duty to

(Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Claire Suzuki)

perpetuate the area for future generations to enjoy.”

Makuakane’s first public appearance as Miss Ka‘u Coffee, was dancing at the islandwide Youth Awards Banquet for the Boys & Girls Club on Monday at Hilo Yacht Club. She and her court will represent Ka‘u Coffee in the Merrie Monarch Parade on Saturday, April 10 and reign over the Ka‘u Coffee Festival Hoolaulea on Saturday, May 1 on the grounds of the Pahala Community Center.

Miss Ka‘u Coffee First Princess is Brandy Kayumi Haunani Shibuya, 21, of Naalehu, daughter of Police Officer Dane Shibuya and Pahala Boys & Girls Club director Terry-Lee Shibuya. She won the gown and swimsuit competition.

Second Princess is Eunice Nika Longakit, 15, of Pahala, daughter of veteran sugar union leader Franco and Alejandrea Longakit.

Miss Ka‘u Coffee Peaberry Queen is Karlee Kaliyah Kealaikamaile Fukunaga-Camba, 8, of Pahala, daughter of Keala and Justine Camba. First Princess is Melia Kate Tabilin Okimoto, 8, of Pahala, daughter of Sheilah and Malcom Okimoto. Second Princess is Kailee Kuhaulua-Stacy, 8, of Pahala, daughter of Cheyenne Kaluahine and Sheldon L. Salmo.

Karlee Kaliyah Kealaikamaile Fukunaga-Camba (Special to Hawaii 24/7)

The pageant was organized by the Ka‘u Coffee Festival Committee and the Ka‘u Coffee Growers Cooperative. Miss Ka‘u Coffee earned a $1000 scholarship from the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Pageant chairwoman Gloria Camba, a coffee farmer and teacher at Pahala Elementary School, said “it is wonderful that the entire community is coming out to support our coffee industry as it is important to the future of Ka‘u.”

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