Twelve years ago, Realtor-Broker Robin Vega and a friend signed up to help out at a community event in their hometown of Lahaina.
That’s when she caught the volunteering bug. “I was inspired by the people of Lahaina and wanted to help make a difference,” she said.
Since then, Vega, owner of MegaVega Properties, has pitched in whenever and wherever she’s needed. Among other things, she’s been an ardent supporter of the LahainaTown Action Committee (LAC) and its year-round community events. “LAC does so much to support the community and the keiki,” she said.
LAC was established in 1988 by residents and business owners “to preserve the historic integrity, rekindle the small town atmosphere and promote the uniqueness of Lahaina.” Today, LAC is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that is primarily self-funded through membership dues, event revenue and promotional product sales, and is “a proactive, results-oriented, entrepreneurial nonprofit with widespread community support.”
LAC is perhaps best known for organizing large-scale, well-attended and well-publicized events (several have been covered by national and international media, as well as local and statewide media, including—and not limited to—the monthly Lahaina Second Friday town party; Lahaina Halloween Party; Fourth of July fireworks display; Banyan Tree birthday celebration; King Kamehameha Parade; Festivals of Aloha; Prince Kuhio Celebration; and the annual Golf Classic benefitting charitable organizations and Lahaina Junior Golf.
In addition to these events, LAC operates the Lahaina Visitor Center at the Old Lahaina Courthouse. It also serves as a liaison between West Maui residents, businesses and other organizations who are working to address the concerns of the community.
Vega has sponsored a number of LAC events and she’s volunteered at most of them. She’s a familiar face at events like the Lahaina Second Friday town party, Lahaina Halloween Party, the Banyan Tree birthday celebration, the Fourth of July festivities and the annual Golf Classic.
“Robin has been our biggest private sponsor for the last five years—not only financially, but also donating her time to all of LAC’s events,” said Lynn Donovan, former executive director of the LahainaTown Action Committee. “She never refused to help when we needed it. She’s a great friend to LAC and myself.”
In January, LAC honored Vega with its Volunteer of the Year award, acknowledging her hard work and dedication to the organization over the past 12 years. “Not only did MegaVega Properties support the efforts of LahainaTown Action Committee’s events and initiatives, Robin Vega personally gives her time volunteering at every Second Friday event, the Lahaina Golf Classic, Fourth of July in Lahaina, Halloween in Lahaina and the Lahaina holiday events,” said LahainaTown Action Committee board president Snehal Patel, when he presented the award to Vega. “Robin and her company are instrumental to the success of our organization and on behalf of the board of directors, we are very grateful. This is a long overdue recognition of Robin and MegaVega Properties.”
Vega says volunteering has no shortage of perks—and she has no plans to stop anytime soon. “I enjoy talking and mingling with the people of Lahaina, as well as the visitors,” she said. “They get so excited just to be here.”
That’s one of the many reasons why she hopes others will follow her lead and give back to their community in any way they can. “I would encourage anyone to volunteer and support your community,” she said. “It’s rewarding to see people and businesses thrive.”
If you’re ready to catch the volunteering bug, head down to Kamehameha Iki Park (525 Front St. in Lahaina) on September 15, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the 14th Annual LahainaTown Clean-up. Just bring a pair of gloves and a water bottle or canister; bags and water will be provided, as well as a free lunch by Pacific‘O.
To learn more about the LahainaTown Action Committee or to view a calendar of upcoming events, visit www.visitlahaina.com.
By Sarah Ruppenthal
The Maui News – September 15, 2018