Visitor Industry Charity Walk sets new fundraising records

Countywide events bring in $1.41M

Some of the 3,500 people who took part Saturday morning in the Visitor Industry Charity Walk cross Wahinepio Avenue from Keopuolani Park to the University of Hawaii Maui College campus grounds. The event raised $1.36 million, a record high amount for Maui in the 40-year-old annual event. Money raised will stay on Maui and support island nonprofits and charities. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

For the second time in its 40 years, the Visitor Industry Charity Walk on Maui broke the million-dollar mark, raking in nearly $1.36 million Saturday as more than 3,500 walkers strolled or jogged and ended up at the War Memorial Complex soccer field for more exercise and other activities.

“Today was a beautiful day of the community coming together to raise funds for Maui County, enjoying time with friends, wonderful entertainment, good food and fantastic prizes,” said Lisa Paulson, executive director of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association.

All money raised will remain in Maui County, she said.

“Our ability to provide for Maui’s nonprofits is a direct reflection of the integrity and philanthropic conviction of the visitor industry,” she said. “This community is so strong and committed to caring for everyone — our island continues to raise more funds per capita than any other island in Hawaii.”

The exact amount raised on Maui was reported as $1,357,639, a record for the island. The association-hosted walks on Molokai and Lanai added $17,099 and $36,229, respectively, bringing the countywide total to $1,410,967, also a record. The total was $251,914 more than last year, the association reported.

Walk participants included visitor industry workers and representatives of nonprofit agencies and businesses. Participants collected pledges for the walk by hosting bake sales, holding chili-and-stew cook-offs, luau benefits, car washes, golf tournaments, tug-of-war competitions, a kickball tournament, dunking booths and concerts.

Top individual fundraisers were Dan Williams of Westside Hoops with $45,980, Joyce Kawakami of Feed My Sheep with $26,200 and Dr. Mary Trotto of Hale Kau Kau with $24,013.

The businesses raising the most funds were Bank of Hawaii with $6,419, VIP Food Service with $4,255 and Central Pacific Bank with $2,300.

The nonprofit agencies bringing in the most donations were Westside Hoops with $136,190, Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation with $111,202 and Lahainaluna High School Foundation with $94,961.

The hotel properties raising the most per employee were Maui Condo & Home Vacations with $483 per employee, Kahana Falls with $263 and Wailea Point Village AOAO with $91.

The hotel properties raising the most funds were the Grand Wailea with $45,577, the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas with $40,201 and Hotel Wailea with $32,791.

Tri-Star Restaurant Group raised the most money of a restaurant with $7,000.

The Visitor Industry Charity Walk is a statewide event that is one of Hawaii’s largest single-day fundraisers, raising more than $2 million to benefit charity.

Next year’s event will be on May 11.

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