A local business owner is giving back to the community on Maui that was devastated by deadly wildfires last month.
On a day-to-day basis, Gregg Photias and his team are laying turf at homes and businesses throughout the valley with this business, Vision Turf and Lighting.
“We opened in October 2020. I've been in the business 15-16 years. You know, I wanted to do my own thing,” Photias said.
Photias has called the valley home for nearly 30 years, but in 2013, his world changed, when he and his family made their first trip to Maui.
“So Maui has just got a special place in my heart," After you know about that I had medical bout that I had and we decided that we're going to start vacationing in Maui,” Photias said.
It wasn’t long until it became a yearly tradition until it was put on hold after the wildfires ravaged the island in August.
“When I saw the Front Street tragedy with the fires that blew through Maui. I felt that there was a definite need that I wanted to give back," Photias said. "I have a friend that lost her apartment there. It's just it's tragedy it I can't even explain it. A lot of people lost everything in including life loss. I mean it's just tragedy."
Being thousands of miles away, there was no way he could help in-person. So for the months of September and October, he’s pledged to donate 5 percent of his profits to help those who need it most.
“So they're just trying to get back to what their normal day in and day out day looks like. And if I could help a little bit, just to help give a little bit of money to get that normalcy back in place at faster than not. I feel like that's a good place for us to be,” Photias said.
According to a report from the University of Hawaii economic research organization, Maui lost more than $13 million of visitor spending each day in the weeks following the fire.