Following our Reel Rock 11 film fundraising event in which we raised over $2,000. Over 100 total volunteers and donors helped make and serve over 1100 Thanksgiving meals to homeless families, individuals, and animals. This event went live 1 week prior to Thanksgiving, and it brought together so many like-minded people to create something together that is bigger than ourselves - truly the embodiment of The Arch Project's mission.
Thank you to all that supported this event by attending our Reel Rock fundraiser, made donations, or donated their time by food prepping, passing out food or both, to help us make this feed the homeless event a huge success. Because of our volunteers the 1,100 meals made it to almost every part of the island. We reached the homeless population out east (Waimanalo and Kailua), north (Wahiawa, Pupukea and Hale'iwa), west (Ewa Beach and Pearl City), every part in town (Kaka'ako, A'ala Park, Ala Moana Park, Sand Island, Waikiki, Diamond Head, Thompson's Square Park, Nimitz Highway, Bishop Square, City Hall, Manoa, Kapahulu, Old Stadium, Blaisdell Park, Dole Cannery, Pali Highway and Ke'ehi Lagoon) and more.
Although it was a great experience to meet some of the members of our houseless community, hear their stories, and listen to their needs, it was heart wrenching to feel the emotional connection to those families who didn't want to be seen or meet us. We knew they needed our help and we're glad they took food and supplies we left after we walked away. Homelessness isn't a choice for anyone and in many cases the loss of a home results in a loss of dignity and a cycle develops. Although these are just sandwiches we hope it brought a reminder that a part of the world is still on their side rooting for them. We were particularly touched by the number of homeless people caring for animals (every single one was well fed!), showing compassion in their own way. One man said to me that the bond he had with his dogs was the only thing keeping him alive. I think we can do more to help them especially in helping provide health care to both people and animals in these communities.
Those who participated felt equally blessed as those who benefited from their service, and I look forward to continuing to work passionately with you all again soon. Words cannot express the gratitude we have for all those who supported this event and the Arch Project.
(A view from the top during the show. Photo taken by Justin Hang)
We stood in front of our drawing board, next on the list... REEL ROCK TOUR! This amazing film was founded in 2006 by filmmakers Josh Lowell (Big UP Productions) and Peter Mortimer (Sender Films). It’s a collection of the best climbing and adventure films produced every year and every year I wait patiently to watch the next! Justin Ridgely (owner of VRG) has introduced and hosted several Reel Rock Tours in the past and decided to take a break from hosting it this year. That presented an opportunity for us, we decided to carry on the torch and help continue to not only bring the Reel Rock to Honolulu but also to fundraise for our annual Thanksgiving Feed the Homeless event (an event Nate had started 3 years ago), which meant applying for the show liscencing (check), finding a venue (Agora Kaka'ako, check), followed with promoting it (and check)! Along with the event we also wanted to raise awareness about the safety of climbing and stewardship by bringing on guest speakers Mike Richardson (owner of Climb Aloha and founder/president of Hawaii Climbing Coalition) and Debbie Halbert (treasurer of Hawaii Climbing Coalition) who discussed climbing safety and Timy Fairfield (pro climber) who shared what stewardship meant to him.
(Guess speaker and pro climber Timy Fairfield smiling for the camera. Photo taken by Phil Langford)
Like a lot of Reel Rock Tours and fundraisers, there were drinks, food and raffle tickets (which meant amazing door prizes) and a salmon ladder comp! Thanks to our sponsors Timy Fairfield, VRG, Climb Aloha, Juice’d Life, Johnson Brother Liquor Co., Uncles Seafood Restaurant and an anonymous donor, we had over 2,000 dollars in value of door prizes consisting of climbing shoes, chalk bags, rope, gym membership, gift cards and many more! It was a much more generous donation than we anticipated from all our sponsors that we could not raffle them off fast enough and I sure wish I was amongst the crowd with raffle tickets!
(Here we are next to the abundance of door prizes waiting to go to raffle winners. Photo by Justin Hang)
Because of the support from the climbing community who came out to watch Reel Rock 11 and made donations to our bar, food and bought raffel tickets we raised about 2,000 dollars in proceeds that will be put towards buying grocery to feed the homeless for our Thanksgiving event. We are especially grateful for our friends who volunteered their time to help us make that successful night happen, we could have not done it without you. We also could have not done it without our sponsors, and especially the climbing community! With out all of you The Arch Project woud not exist! Until next year Reel Rock!
(Below are more pictures from the event taken by talented photographers, Phillip Langford and Justin Hang)
During a recent convention, we attended a showing of a documentary called "Racing Extinction" at the Hawaii Theater in Chinatown. The film highlighted the rapid loss of natural resources that humans are inflicting on the world. Not just in urban areas, but also in rural nations. The film took a serious look at the problems of Manta Ray fishing, the illegal shark fin trade, extinction of Hawaiian birds and frogs, methane overproduction, and more in a scientific and visual way that allowed us to understand our impact. However, it also showed us how humans are not only the disease (eradicating natural resources) but we can also be the cure. The movie shows how education and changing the culture to shift the economy to ecotourism instead of hunting of creatures such as whale sharks, It showed how simple awareness and changing every day habits (like eating one vegetarian meal a week) can create a huge amount of change in the demand for beef and resulting methane impact on the ozone layer. Although there certainly was bias, it was eye opening and a call to action for everyone who attended. As a veterinarian, I am always in the midst of animal issues, but I had not thought of things in the way the film presented them before. At the showing in Chinatown, we were surprised how few people were in attendance, so we decided to have a small screening of our own for members of The Arch Project.
One of our Founding members Christy Park, gave us access to a small theater at the Pacifica in Honolulu. 35 members of our organization attended this screening, and we provided donation based popcorn and drinks to fundraise for upcoming events. It was also the first time we put our shirts out there to get some feedback on the design and fit. We met some new faces and we were glad everyone came!