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Hawaii Native Enokk Vimahi Offers Support To Lahaina Amid Deadly Wildfires 

By August 16, 2023 (12:52 pm)Football

Ohio State senior offensive lineman and Oahu, Hawaii native Enokk Vimahi raised awareness of the deadly wildfires that have taken the lives of over 100 people in Lahaina, Maui on Tuesday, highlighting the resources available to assist those affected.

Vimahi, who’s hometown Oahu is just a 30-minute plane ride to Lahaina, encouraged people to donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting 90999, saying “If you can, please support the people in Lahaina.” He also urged potential tourists of the area to be “mindful” of the tragedy if they choose to vacation in Hawaii. 

“The one thing I will say, is a lot of tourists are planning on going back in (to Hawaii) because of how cheap the (plane) tickets are, but please, please be mindful of everything that is going on,” Vimahi said. “There were a lot of lives affected, a lot of lives lost, a lot of homes lost, a lot of environment lost. And that’s something that the people of Hawaii, we take very seriously.” 

According to multiple reports, 106 people have been confirmed dead in a series of fires that swept through Maui and the community of Lahaina on Aug. 8. “Hundreds” of Hawaiians also remain missing, while over 4,000 people are stationed across at least 11 shelters throughout the island. Vimahi said he does not personally know anyone who has been affected by the tragedy, but admitted that the events have been on his mind during fall camp.

“It’s something I continue to think about,” Vimahi said. “I was actually about to call my mom a little later, just to see how they are doing and see the continuous impact.” 

Vimahi’s time spent with his teammates and coaches at the Woody Hayes Center has helped him cope with the recent events, however. The fourth-year Buckeye, who is currently vying for playing time this season on a retooled Ohio State offensive line, said football has served as a sanctuary for him to escape from the reality of the still-recent tragedy unfolding in his home state. 

“Coach Day always talks about the ‘red-line mentality,’ when you see the red line, before the start of the field, and even the field on the outside. And you know, when you cross that red line, you focus on the brotherhood, you focus on football, and you focus on the team here at Ohio State.” 

To assist those affected by the wildfires, donors can offer support to the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund here.

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