Visitor Industry Charity Walk sets a new record

Walkers breeze through Keopuolani Park at the start of Saturday morning’s Maui Hotel & Lodging Association 39th annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk. Maui’s event raised more than $1 million, breaking the million-dollar benchmark for the Valley Isle for the first time. Walks on Molokai and Lanai brought in more than $72,000. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

The Maui News

The 39th annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk set a new record for Maui County with events on Maui, Lanai and Molokai bringing in $1,159,053, an increase of $125,670 from last year, the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association announced.

On Saturday, 2,600 walkers took part in the Maui event, generating $1,087,009, breaking the $1 million mark for a Valley Isle walk for the first time. The fundraiser included food, prizes and entertainment.

Events on Molokai and Lanai brought in $33,654 and $38,390, respectively.

Participants included visitor industry workers, nonprofit agencies and business representatives.

Valley Isle Produce’s Lily Barawis hands out water to thirsty walkers Saturday morning. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

“Many of these hardworking walkers begin their fundraising efforts months prior to the event by collecting pledges, hosting bake sales, chili and stew cook-offs, benefit luaus, car washes, golf tournaments, tug-of-war competitions, a kickball tournament, even dunking booths and concerts,” the association’s announcement said.

The Grand Wailea was the resort property that generated the most donations, $54,000. Bank of Hawaii raised the most for other businesses with $12,454.

Winning the award for a nonprofit raising the most was West Side Hoops, which collected $109,570. The top individual fundraiser was Dan Williams of West Side Hoops. He collected $48,325.

The hotel property raising the most per capita was Maui Condo and Home at $360 per employee. And, for the fifth year in a row, Tri-Star Restaurant Group took first place in raising $6,500 for the restaurant category.

Other top individual fundraisers were Genevieve Ruvald of Westside Hoops, $45,200; and Mitch Mitchell of Hale Makua Health Services, $31,175.

Other businesses raising the most funds were Maui Vacation Rental Association, $10,277; and VIP Food Service, $4,423.

Other nonprofits raising the most funds were Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation, $84,523; and Hale Makua Health Services, $81,955.

The other hotel properties raising the most per employee were Kahana Falls, $260 per employee; and Maui Beach Hotel, $136 per employee.

Other resort properties raising the most funds were Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, $32,848; and Marriott Maui Ocean Club, $20,330.

“The Maui community has once again shown its generosity, volunteerism and compassion in raising funds for the Charity Walk on Maui,” said Lisa Paulson, executive director of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association. She noted that all the money remains in Maui County.

“Our ability to provide for Maui’s nonprofits is a direct reflection of the integrity and philanthropic conviction of the visitor industry,” she said.

The 2018’s charity walk is scheduled for May 12.