PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A group of Hawaiian businesses are banding together this weekend to host a fundraiser for family and friends on Maui as the island battles deadly wildfires.

The Ankeny Alley Festival originally planned a luau-themed party as part an effort to help revamp downtown Portland, but since wildfires engulfed Maui this week, the event also doubles as a fundraiser.

“We had planned in February of this year, to do a series of six events to encourage people to return downtown and help revitalize Portland,” said Joshua Allen of the Ankeny Alley Festival. “We really wanted to create a situation where people could come down and support us as a part of downtown but also the great Hawaiian and Polynesian communities that are here in the Portland metro area.”

The luau runs Aug. 11-13 and is open to all ages from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is open for those 21-years-old and older from 8 p.m. to close. The festival will include Hawaiian music, entertainment and food to fundraise for wildfire recovery.

“The most important thing that I want everybody to know is when I started in February, and even a year ago, downtown was such a different place than it was today. It is safer; it is cleaner; there is more engagement and activity; you see people back on the street and the best thing people can do to support downtown is come to come downtown,” Allen said.

Kawika Kahoilua, the owner of Bamboo Grove Hawaiian Grille — among the businesses participating in the luau — is from Maui and has been working to contact family on the island since the wildfire ignited.

“It’s been very stressful, especially not to be able to have good communication. But just in the last 24 hours, I’ve heard from quite a few people via social media so that’s comforting,” Kahoilua said. “I’ve also heard that although most of Lahaina has burned, some of it was spared.”

“It’s stressful being able to watch it from here and not being able to communicate with anybody but we’re hopeful,” Kahoilua added.

Kahoilua says the food he serves at his restaurant aims to bring Hawaiian culture and the spirit of aloha to the Pacific Northwest and is hopeful that the Ankeny Alley Festival will bring more attention to local businesses.

“We are committed to bringing business back to downtown. As downtown goes, the ripple effect affects us both negatively and positively, we’re only about five minutes away from downtown,” Kawaika said.

Timo Porotesano, the owner of Top Flyte Security — which is also participating in the fest — is currently visiting Kauai and says watching the wildfires has been stressful.

“We’ve been praying a lot and just hopeful that we can all help and rebuild Maui and just support and love that they need right now,” Porotesano said.