Hale Halawai 'Ohana O Hanalei is a grass roots 501 (c)(3) organization founded by community members in 1993. Established out of a need for a gathering place on the North Shore, Hale Halawai 'Ohana O Hanalei became the first privately funded community center in the state of Hawai’i. Our name translates to, "A house for the coming together of the extended family of Hanalei."   

Our mission is to create and sustain a gathering place for cultural education and for community engagement and actions to support social, civic and recreation events that perpetuate the value of aloha and the betterment of our community.
Locally referenced as Hanalei's Cultural Community Center, our center serves as a venue for a variety of services, classes, programs, events, and Hawaiian cultural programs. Our programs help perpetuate traditional Hawaiian culture and the Aloha Spirit. Hale Halawai 'Ohana O Hanalei is dedicated to celebrating and increasing the resources of the people. Said best by Aunty Kapeka Chandler, "...it is a place for everybody."

“When you say this is the family center – it is for everybody, that is why we are here. I want them to get along, to learn how to live with each other … it doesn’t matter what nationality. Maybe here we can bridge over our differences. I would like to see that, and we need more of that in the world today.”

~ Aunty Kapeka Mahuiki-Chandler, a founder

April 2018 Historic Rainfall leads to flooding on Kaua'i

Mahalo to all those that donated funds and/or time to help in our efforts to recover

Hale Halawai 'Ohana O Hanalei helps in the implementation and distribution of sub-grants for North Shore watershed flood mitigation projects.

Flood mitigation work



Born and raised in Hanalei, Blake left Kaua'i to attend Kamehameha HS and then on to Massachusetts, where he earned his BA in English Literature. He owned a computer retailing business for 10 years and after selling the business, worked for Hewlett Packard Co. where he worked as a corporate sales executive for some of our country’s largest companies. 

Gaylord Wilcox is the great great grandson of missionaries who taught in Hanalei in the mid-1800s. He is a part-time Kaua'i resident, spending most of his time in Honolulu. He attended grammar school in Lihue from kindergarten to 8th grade, and raised children in Hanalei from 1975-82. He is a former book publisher and current owner of Hanalei Center. In his free time, he is an avid outrigger canoe paddler.

Naomi Yokotake is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and obtained her BA in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Iowa. She is the Kumu Hula of Halau O Hanalei, the Cultural Director at Hale Halawai 'Ohana O Hanalei and the creator of original Halele’a Exploration Program curriculum and remains active as the lead volunteer. She was employed as an elementary school teacher with the Hawaii DOE for over 30 years and is a founding board member of Hale Halawai ‘Ohana O Hanalei. She is also the Choir Director at Wai‘oli Hui‘ia Church and past president of the Hanalei Hawaiian Civic Club. 

Wicki Van De Veer retired to Hanalei after a career as a Social Worker and Administrator for the County of Santa Cruz, California. She also cofounded and served as Co Director for the non-profit Santa Cruz Toddler Care Center which just marked it's 40th anniversary. She earned a BA in the Humanities at University of California Berkeley and a BA in Fine Art at University of California at Santa Cruz. She serves as a board member for Hale Halawai and volunteers as one of the art teachers for the Halele'a Cultural Exploration Program.

Charlie Cowden moved to Kauai in 1970. He started Hanalei Surf Company in 1982. Over the years, he has grown his business and expanded to own other local businesses. He is an avid surfer and supports the local community through various endeavors.  


Hale Halawai 'Ohana O Hanalei started out of a love for the community and its people.  We would not be in existence without the hard work and dedication from our founders.  

Jack Kahalolani Hashimoto

Scott Robeson

Elizabeth "Kapeka" Mahuiki Chandler

Carol Ann Washburn

Susan Clair

Gaylord Wilcox

Naomi Yokotake

Annual reports