Aloha, my name is Heidi and I am writing on behalf of the Jerome 'ohana.
Many, if not all of you, are aware of the immense losses facing the community of Lahaina on Maui. You have also seen the way that residents of Lahaina and of Maui have stepped up and helped each other in the face of unimaginable circumstances. Amongst those leading the charge are Jason and Vania Jerome, who have been volunteering more or less constantly at Maui Prep, first with the emergency shelter and now with rehousing families and helping students get back into school. While their home survived, as it was well out of the path of the fires, the Jerome family’s business, Lahaina Music, was completely destroyed, along with irreplaceable family instruments, equipment, and the entire stock of their business. Despite this, the day he found out, Jason found ways to encourage those around him and to bring joy where there is sadness. But that’s just what the Jeromes do. Every time.
Since moving to Maui in the early 2000’s, Jason and Vania have worked tirelessly to improve music education and access in Lahaina. Vania works as a Performing Arts Director at Maui Preparatory Academy and Jason runs Lahaina Music, which has donated dozens of instruments and hundreds of hours of instruction to the local community without asking for credit. As Jason and Vania’s hanai daughter and a long-time employee, I can promise that incredible generosity that the community sees from Jason and Vania is a tiny fraction of what they give away. In every situation I’ve ever been in with them, Jason and Vania are the first to arrive and the last to leave, whether Jason is picking up old cigarette butts at their church or creating a bespoke sound system for pop-up theaters on the West Side so our kids can perform with all the tools they need to succeed.
We know that the road to recovery is long. This GoFundMe is to support the Jerome family and their employees financially as they sort out what the future holds. They are committed to their ongoing mission of blessing Lahaina through music and music education. We don’t yet know what insurance will cover from the store or whether it will be rebuilt at the same location, but this fund will enable the Jeromes to make decisions based on what the community needs and what will help create sustainable futures for all involved: their employees, Lahaina, and themselves. Jason and Vania took a bit of convincing to allow us to set this up, as they are aware that many are facing even more devastating losses. However, we know that investing in the Jeromes is an investment in our community, and that Jason and Vania have blessed us time and time again in ways that we could never repay. We are hoping that this fund gives them the freedom to do exactly as they are led to do without additional fear or worry. Mahalo for your donations, and for your prayers!