It was 1993 when Captains Jim and Randy Coon decided to do more for the island of Lana'i. The population of the island was about 1,500 people, Trilogy had been running sailing trips to Lanai for the better part of 20 years, and even with the construction of the new resorts, the small community continued to tick along at about the same pace that a pineapple grows (which is very, very slowly).
20 years later, the island of Lana'i has seen many changes including a swap in ownership and a rise in population. Even though the island now houses close to 3,500 people, the Trilogy family is still dedicated to putting food on the table each Thanksgiving.
Partnering with the Maui Food and Lodging Association who provided over 900 bags of rice, Trilogy handed out over 1,000 turkeys for residents and families on Lana'i. To commemorate the 20th anniversary--as well as the 40th anniversary of Trilogy's sailing tours--the Governor of Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie, joined Captain Jim and Captain Rand in personally handing out the turkeys.
Before the giveaway got underway, the Governor encouraged Lana'i residents to reach out with their concerns for the island.
"I may be short," quipped Abercrombie, "but I'm not slow, so I encourage the community to reach out."
More than just a giveaway and gubernatorial appearance, the event has grown into a community fair where local non-profits can gain some exposure. The fire department was happy to provide free ID cards for the keiki (children), and barbless fishing hooks were handed out to locals in an effort to prevent the accidental hooking of green sea turtles. Staff were on hand from the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, and local halau of Tahitian hula dancers entertained the festive crowd.
The turkey giveaway always takes place on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and the community atmosphere and feeling of aloha was palpable throughout the morning. Neighbors smiled and hugged in the parking lot, and younger staff members helped assist older residents to carry the turkeys to their car.
Even though the island has grown exponentially in the past 20 years, Trilogy remains committed to our goal of providing for Thanksgiving dinner. On an island which has been in the national spotlight amidst numerous rumors of change, the turkey giveaway is an annual event that Lana'i can count on for the future.
For more information on the history of the event, you can also check out