The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association's 34th annual Visitor Industry Charity Walks in Maui County raised a record $613,025, topping last year's record by nearly $121,000.
The announcement was made at a Charity Reception on Thursday at the Grand Wailea, where more than 84 nonprofit organizations were honored for their participation in the walks.
By island, the breakdown was $584,587 with 2,500 walkers for Maui; $12,666 with 130 walkers for Molokai and $15,772 with 120 walkers for Lanai.
Phyllis McOmber (right), who helped found the Lana‘i Community Health Center, was named the Maui County Charity Walk Inspiration Award winner. Despite battling brain cancer, McOmber continued to help plan the walk on Lanai. She died Thursday morning, her husband said. She is shown with Diana Shaw, executive director of the Lana‘i Community Health Center.
The preliminary fundraising amount given after the walks was $555,188, but funds continued to roll in afterward, the news release said.
"This year, we are thrilled to have raised $120,725 more than last year, which has enabled us to award significant and valuable funding to 84 worthy Maui County organizations from the event's proceeds," said Carol Reimann, executive director for the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association. "The range of services of these recipients touches many residents' lives, from children to the elderly, from athletic organizations to service-related agencies, from health to housing.
"It is our goal to impact many lives by supporting a variety of charitable organizations that provide valuable services and to ultimately improve our community."
Special recognition was given to Phyllis McOmber of Lanai, who died Thursday morning after a long battle with brain cancer. The founder of the Lana'i Community Health Clinic, which provides quality, low-cost health care on the island, was given the Charity Walk Inspiration Award.
She was the second recipient of the award started last year to honor a Charity Walk participant for going "above and beyond" in raising funds for the walk and for having a compelling story that "best exemplifies the true spirit of giving," a news release said.
Earlier this year, when the hotel association began planning the Lanai Charity Walk, McOmber was diagnosed with brain cancer, her fourth bout with the disease. Despite feeling ill, she continued be a part of Charity Walk's Team Lanai and was instrumental in Lanai's success in raising more than $15,000 for the island walk, a news release said.
Along with receiving the "Charity Walk Inspiration Award," a donation of $5,000 in McOmber's name was awarded to the Lana'i Community Health Clinic.
Her husband, Ron McOmber, on Thursday afternoon confirmed his wife's passing earlier in the day.
Other awards presented at the gathering:
* Individual Raising the Most - Mitch Mitchell, Hale Makua, $10,660; Peter Tierney, SPCA, $10,445; Suzie Moore, Kahana Falls, $6,775.
* Nonprofit Agency Raising the Most - Hale Makua, $33,020; Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation, $21,804; SPCA, $18,797.
* Business Raising the Most - Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co., $11,372; Bank of Hawaii, $9,912; Avis/Budget Group - $4,456.
* Property Raising the Most Per Capita - Kahana Falls, $257 per employee; Grand Wailea, $219 per employee; Maui Condo & Home, $200 per employee.
* Property Raising the Most - Grand Wailea, $100,001; Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, $26,317; Royal Lahaina Resort, $16,570.
Since the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association started hosting the event in 1980, Maui County has raised a cumulative total of $6.4 million, benefiting hundreds of nonprofit organizations on Maui, Molokai and Lanai. All funds raised on Maui stay in Maui County.
Next year's Charity Walks are set for May 4 on Molokai and Lanai and May 11 on Maui.