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RAM Members Support Aloha BackPack Buddies

By Alma Tassi

Next month on March 16th, RAM members will come together for the 13th Annual Bocce Ball Fundraising Tournament in support of Maui Food Bank’s Aloha BackPack Buddies. The St. Patrick’s Day-themed tournament at Mulligans on the Blue in Wailea draws dozens of Realtors Association of Maui (RAM) members, who participate as players, donors, sponsors, and volunteers.

The tournament launched back in 2012 to support Kamali’i Elementary School in Kihei. Parents learned that kids were returning to school on Mondays hungry. For some kids, the free or reduced meals at school are their main source of food. The event’s organizer, Patrick Kilbride recounts, “I was asked by a Coldwell Banker parent to help with a fundraiser event for this school. I had done tennis tournaments in the past, but thought bocce could be fun.”

As the local fundraising event grew, the organizers decided to partner with the Maui Food Bank to ensure more kids would benefit from the program. With the nonprofit’s expertise and support, the program provides students in need with a ziplock bag containing six healthy meals to go directly into their school backpacks for the weekend when school is not in session.

Aloha BackPack Buddies is now in 31 schools on Maui, Molokai, and Lanai and will provide over 90,000 meals throughout the school year.

Moana Andersen and Jennifer Borge from Equity One have stepped up this year to support Kilbride in coordinating teams and sponsorships for the event. Borge shares, “It’s such a fun event. Some teams go all out with group costumes and prizes are given out.” They aim to have 20 teams participate—with some teams sponsored by local businesses. Last year’s winners, a group of Maui firemen, are sponsored by a business to play again this year.

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BACK ROW: Sid Sparkman, Moana Andersen (R) , Erik Andersen, Brady Borge, Jenny Borge (R)

FRONT ROW: Alysha Sparkman (R), Amanda Kayatani (R), Jayce Mawson (R)

Jenny (left) Moana (right)

Jennifer Borge (Left), Moana Andersen (Right)

“We’re so grateful for our sponsors that support the event every year,” says Borge. Local businesses like Sturdevant Air Conditioning and Harmer Communications plus REALTORS® such as Hawaii Life’s Dave Richardson and Keller Williams Realty’s Lee Wheeler have been part of the event year after year.

One student from Kihei shares what the program has meant to him: "My name's Sam, and I'm 8 years old. Sometimes, my folks struggle to afford food due to rent and other expenses. But every Friday, I receive a backpack from Aloha BackPack Buddies filled with six delicious meals to take home for the weekend.”

“Maui Food Bank extends its gratitude to the annual Bocce Ball fundraiser, which enables children like Sam to access safe and nutritious food, supporting their growth and well-being—Mahalo to Patrick Kilbride and all the Bocce Ball teams that are helping the hungry in Maui County,” says Marlene Rice, development director of Maui Food Bank.

For more information, visit If you’d like to get involved or become a sponsor, contact Patrick Kilbride at 808-264-4289.

REALTOR® means a member of the National Association of REALTORS® Do you know a REALTORS® Association of Maui member who should be recognized for their contributions to the community? If so, send your story idea to Alma Tassi at

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