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CMU hosts annual luau celebration

Ho’olokahi Polynesian Alliance marks year nineteen of marquee event

Grand JunctionCelebrating influences from Easter Island and New Zealand to Hawaii, Tahiti and Samoa, the Ho’olokahi Polynesian Alliance is one of CMU’s largest and longest standing cultural education organizations. On April 6, 2019 the student club will host the 19th annual Luau event. The Luau is a cornerstone of student efforts to create cultural awareness and diversity at CMU. 

Director of the University Center and club advisor Breanne Meier believes the event is an important celebration of Polynesian culture, but also plays a larger role by showcasing diversity and cultural heritage for all students. 

“As a current CMU employee, alumna and person of Polynesian heritage, this event means a great deal to me personally,” said Meier. “The Luau is central to what we are all about at CMU. We have club supporters from Hawaii and other islands who attended CMU as far back as the 1980s who still support the event and  students.” 

The event begins with cuisine which features traditional island fare while guests enjoy and learn from musical and dance performances that showcase Polynesian culture and tradition. 

“CMU has a special relationship with Hawaii dating back decades,” said CMU President Tim Foster. “Some people don’t realize that the high deserts of western Colorado are a home away from home for so many Polynesian alumni and students. Hawaii remains one of the largest recruiting markets for CMU and the Luau is just one way we go above and beyond honoring what makes the relationship special.”

Past performances have included traditional Maori style Haka, the use of Poi balls as well as traditional Tahitian dance. Past musical performances have included Grammy award winner and CMU alumnus Kalani Pe’a. 

Community members are encouraged to support students by purchasing tickets at the University Center Information Desk. Event related questions should be directed to HPA President Shelbi Tomita ckkalei@mavs.coloradomesa.edu 

Event sponsors include U.S. Bank, Carol Francil of REMAX 4000 and ProSpace.

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Written by David Ludlam