Many athletes and celebrities have shown immense support in response to the devastating wildfires in Maui. One standout individual is Bellator MMA star Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, who managed to raise over $2 million on Instagram alone.
In an interview with TMZ Sports, Macfarlane, who hails from Honolulu, expressed the dire situation in Hawaii. The fires have resulted in the loss of at least 115 lives, with many still missing. Those fortunate enough to have survived are facing significant property damage, including complete loss of their homes.
“We have hit the $2.6 million mark and this is just on Instagram alone,” Macfarlane revealed proudly. What makes this fundraiser so remarkable to her is the fact that it wasn’t solely supported by big corporations or major donors, but rather by everyday people who wanted to make a difference.
Macfarlane acknowledged several celebrities who helped spread the word about her fundraising efforts, including Bretman Rock, Meghan Trainor, and Jason Momoa.
However, the challenge now lies in ensuring that the funds reach those who need it most. Macfarlane explained that she hasn’t raised such a substantial amount for her nonprofit organization before and is collaborating with other agencies to ensure the equitable and efficient distribution of funds.
In addition to raising money, Macfarlane has teamed up with Bellator, her MMA promotion company, to replace gym equipment and training gear at local dojos. They are also extending an invite to a affected family to attend her upcoming title fight in San Diego.
Speaking of her highly anticipated fight with her mentor Liz Carmouche at Bellator 300 on October 7, Macfarlane revealed that the recent fires have made it difficult for her to fully enjoy the lead-up to the event. The timing of the fires coincided with the announcement of her title fight, causing a mix of emotions for Macfarlane who couldn’t fully embrace the excitement while dealing with the crisis in Hawaii.
Despite the challenges, Macfarlane remains optimistic and determined to make a difference in her community. She urges people to support her cause by donating to her fundraiser. She also expressed her gratitude to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Oprah Winfrey for their recent collaboration in donating a massive $10 million to the Maui relief efforts.
In conclusion, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane’s incredible fundraising efforts have had a significant impact on the Maui community affected by the devastating wildfires. With over $2 million raised, she plans to work collaboratively with other organizations to ensure the funds are distributed efficiently and equitably to those in need. Through her partnership with Bellator, she aims to support local dojos by replacing gym equipment and gear. Despite the personal challenges she has faced with the fires taking place around the time of her title fight, Macfarlane remains motivated to make a difference and encourages others to join her cause.