‘Something has to be done to help them’
KIPU — When Antone Teves heard about a fire that destroyed a Lawai home of a former Kipu Ranch tour guide, he knew he had to do something.
“I thought what it would be like to be in that position,” he said. “No one died, and there’s a lot to be thankful for, but Karl (Ramirez) built that house, so I imagine that was emotionally rough to see.”
Within four hours of hearing the news of the fire, Teves, who is co-owner of Kipu Ranch Adventures, decided to organize a fundraiser to help the family of three get back on their feet.
On Saturday, the ranch will be hosting a charity ride, and 100 percent of the money generated will go directly the Ramirez family. Participants will go on the ultimate ranch tour, which is a three-hour ride through Kipu Ranch and boasts views of Kipu Kai.
“We’ve blocked half a day, so we can take out two tours,” Teves said.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 11, firefighters responded to a Piko Road house that was engulfed in flames. It took several hours for crews to extinguish the blaze, which caused about $700,000 worth of damage to the 3,000 square-foot home.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.
The fire inspector considered the house a total loss, according to a press release.
The next day, a GoFundMe account was created for the family. The page hopes to raise $10,000 to help the family with immediate needs. As of Tuesday afternoon, $4,895 had been raised.
If Saturday’s charity ride at Kipu Ranch Adventures fills up, there’s the potential for the full $10,000 to be raised in one day, Teves said.
Tour prices are usually $135 for adults and $89 for keiki. But for the charity ride, those prices will be cut in half.
Teves has a long history with Ramirez, who was one of the ranch’s first tour guides in 2001.
“He was a really good fit because he is one of the top-dirt bikers on the island; he’s an expert trail and endurance rider,” Teves said.
In addition to taking people on tours, Ramirez made sure the trails were were cut down and maintained.
That’s something he has done for various rides around the island, Teves said.
“Year after year, he’s donated his time and energy to every trail event,” he said. “Everyone in the dirt bike community here are like brothers, and I know a lot of people would want to support him.”
So far, about 40 people have signed up to participate in the ride.
For Teves, the ride is a way to connect people with Ramirez, his wife, Michelle Alimboyoguen and their daughter. He hopes the ride will bring awareness to their situation and will compel people to donate to the family, even when the ride is over.
“Karl’s got a story, Michelle has a story and something has to be done to help them,” he said. “I’m blessed that I can be part of that something to start it off.”
To reserve a spot, go to kiputours.com/ramirez-charity-ride/ or call 246-9288. Check in is at 1 p.m.