WAILUKU - The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association (MHLA) celebrated 36 years of giving back to the community in grand style with its annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk on Saturday, May 10.
Some 3,196 walkers gathered at War Memorial Soccer Field for a fun-filled morning of exercise, camaraderie, good food, great prizes and fabulous entertainment.
At the end of the day, an impressive total of $767,495 was raised on Maui. The week prior, MHLA hosted walks on Molokai and Lanai bringing in $66,830 and $29,217, respectively, for a grand total for Maui County of $863,542.
Nearly 3,200 people participated in the Maui Visitor Industry Charity Walk. PHOTOS BY KATELYN JASKOLSKI.
The bulk of the participants included visitor industry workers, nonprofit agencies and business representatives. Many of these hardworking walkers begin their fundraising efforts months prior to the event by collecting pledges and hosting bake sales, chili and stew cook-offs, benefit luaus, car washes, tug-of-war competitions, a kick-ball tournament, dunking booths and concerts.
The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa took top honors for the property bringing in the most with $25,888. Bank of Hawaii was the business that raised the most at $11,349. Winning the award for the nonprofit raising the most was Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation, which collected $90,008.
The top individual fundraiser was Randall Desloover of SPCA Maui, who collected $28,582. The property raising the most per capita was Maui Condo & Home Vacations at $316.40 per employee. And, for the second year in a row, Tri-Star Restaurant Group took first place in raising $7,131 for the restaurant category.
Top fundraisers include:
Individual Raising the Most Funds - Randall Desloover, SPCA Maui, $28,582; Mitch Mitchell, Hale Makua Health Services, $21,820; and Dan Williams, Basketball Maui, $12,100;
Business - Bank of Hawaii, $11,349; VIP Foodservice, $4,374; and Maui Vacation Rental Association, $3,808;
Nonprofit - Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation, $90,008; Maui High Band Boosters, $56,000; and Hale Makua, $55,000;
Hotel Property Raising the Most Per Employee - Maui Condo & Home Vacations, $316.40/employee; Kahana Falls, $241.38/employee; and Aston Mahana at Kaanapali, $95.64/employee;
Property Raising the Most Funds - Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, $25,888; Grand Wailea Resort & Spa, $22,000; and Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas, $21,025.
"Today was an amazing day of the community coming together to raise funds for Maui County, enjoy time with friends, wonderful entertainment, good food and fantastic prizes. The Maui community has once again surpassed their generosity and raised more funds than any other year in the 36-year history of the charity walk on Maui! And, most importantly, all monies raised on Maui stays in Maui County," said Lisa Paulson, executive director of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association.
"Our ability to provide for Maui's non-profits is a direct reflection of the integrity and philanthropic conviction of the visitor industry. Maui has always done it in extraordinary fashion - our island continues to raise more funds per capita than any other island in Hawaii."
The Visitor Industry Charity Walk is a statewide event that takes place on Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island. It is one of Hawaii's largest single-day fundraisers with thousands of walkers, and it typically raises over $1 million annually to benefit charity.
Funds will continue to roll in throughout next month, so Maui is on pace to meet its goal of $1 million for Maui County. Final amounts raised will be announced on June 13.
Mark your calendar for next year's Visitor Industry Charity Walk: Saturday, May 9, 2015.
For information, contact the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association at 244-8625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.