Surfers’ merchandise generates $6K for rapid ‘ohi‘a death response

  • Courtesy of Tamba Surf Company

    Kuhio Young, left, of plant nursery Pulu, and Saa “Tamba” Ginlack of Tamba Surf Shop, right, present Kim Rogers of the Kaua‘i Invasive Species Committee with a $6,000 check to be used for rapid ‘ohi‘a death response on Kaua‘i.

KAPA‘A — Tamba Surf Company and Koloa plant nursery Pulu have donated $6,000 to rapid ‘ohi‘a death response on Kaua‘i, two months after the debut of their Collab 4 A Cause fundraiser.

The project consisted of 200 limited-edition “capsules” containing hats and shirts emblazoned with original ‘ohi‘a-inspired artwork created by Pulu’s owner, Kuhio Young. Free ‘ohi‘a tree saplings were also given away on day one of the sale.

All profits made from the merchandise — $30 per $74.95 capsule after expenses — were presented last week to local ROD Outreach Specialist Kim Rogers of the Kaua‘i Invasive Species Committee.

“All the money didn’t come from Tamba. All the money didn’t come from Pulu,” Young told The Garden Island. “It actually came from the community … it was a reflection of community support in backing these ‘ohi‘a trees and supporting a good cause.”

ROD, a disease caused by two species of fungi (Ceratocystis huliohia and Ceratocystis lukuohia), was confirmed on Kaua‘i in 2018. KISC conducts surveys, takes wood samples and fells trees to reduce its spread.

“What we learned during this process, and what we were able to share, was that a healthy forest means a healthy reef,” Tamba owner Saa “Tamba” Ginlack said in a press release. “The quality of our surf depends on the quality of our land, because it’s all tied together.”

Tamba and Pulu have declared their ‘ohi‘a capsules represent “volume one” of a planned series of community-oriented collections.

“We’re honored Tamba chose helping to save ‘ohi‘a for their first community collaboration,” Rogers said in Tamba’s press release.

Collab 4 A Cause sales were not limited to Kaua‘i, despite the clothes’ local angle. Almost half of the 190 capsules sold were purchased online by buyers across the United States, according to Tamba, which picked up the remaining 10 to complete the campaign.

Young has even spotted a stranger wearing his ‘ohi‘a gear in the wild, while surfing on O‘ahu’s North Shore.

Raising money through specially designed merchandise does more than indulge Tamba and Pulu’s creativity, according to Young, who noted that Ginlack decided to stamp the back of each T-shirt with informational text on ROD.

“In my opinion, I think that people wearing the stuff goes a lot farther than even the money, because it’s continuous eyes (on the topic),” Young said.

Volume two of Collab 4 A Cause has yet to be announced. But its creators guarantee it’s coming, and will support an ocean-related issue.

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Scott Yunker, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or syunker@thegardenisland.com.

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