‘This is a great cause’

KIPU — Love and aloha filled Kipu Ranch this weekend, as 82 people prepared to ride through the 4,000 acre-property.

“Today, we ride for Karl (Ramirez),” said Antone Teves, co-owner of Kipu Ranch Adventures.

On Oct. 11, Karl Ramirez, his wife, Michelle Alimboyoguen, and daughter, Kaya, lost their Lawai home to a massive fire, which broke out at around 3 a.m.

The Piko Road house was fully engulfed in flames, and it took firefighters several hours to contain the blaze. No one was home at the time of the fire, but officials consider the house to be a total loss, and estimate there to be $700,000 worth of damages.

But the family doesn’t have to pick up the pieces alone.

On Saturday, Kipu Ranch Adventures hosted a charity ride, taking participants on a three-hour ride through Kipu Ranch, giving them breathtaking views of Kipu Kai.

Every penny made from the ride was donated to the family. Tour prices are usually $135 for adults and $89 for keiki. But for the charity ride, those prices were cut in half.

The event raised just over $10,000.

Ramirez, who was one of the first tour guides of Kipu Ranch Adventures, took a moment to thank the crowd for donating their time and money.

“It’s been a little rough, but it’s going to be alright,” he said.

While Ramirez couldn’t participate in the ride himself because he was sick, he wanted to recognize the community for their support.

“I could not come here and not say anything,” he said.

Aliana Ho, who attended the ride, said she went to middle school with Kaya.

“We drove past her house after the fire; it was really sad,” she said. “So I wanted to come here and show my support.”

Rick Halivand, who has known the Ramirez family for about 35 years, had always wanted to go on a tour of Kipu Ranch, but never had the opportunity.

“This was the perfect time to do it, and to support Michelle and Karl,” he said. “This is a great cause.”

Kauai Harley Davidson also donated $1,500 to the Ramirez family, and a GoFundMe account, “Coach Michelle’s House Fire Fund,” was created days after the fire. The effort hopes to raise $10,000 to help the family; as of Sunday, it had raised $5,630.

“The Kauai ohana can help them recover,” Halivand said.

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