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Visitor Industry Charity Walk raises $344,149

By Staff | May 27, 2010

More than 1,800 people participated in the Visitor Industry Charity Walk on May 15.

WAILUKU — The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association celebrated 32 years of giving back to the community with its annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk on Saturday, May 15.

More than 1,800 walkers gathered at War Memorial Soccer Field for a fun morning of exercise, camaraderie, good food, great prizes and fabulous entertainment.

At the end of the day, an impressive total of $344,149 was raised to benefit Maui County charities. Last year, the event raised $312,000.

Participants included visitor industry workers, nonprofit agencies and business representatives. Many of these hardworking walkers begin their fund-raising efforts months prior to the event by collecting individual pledges and holding bake sales, chili and stew cook-offs, benefit luaus, car washes, dunking booths and concerts.

The top individual fund-raiser was Mitch Mitchell representing Hale Makua, who collected $5,862.

The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa took top honors for properties, bringing in the most with $22,211. 

HC&S was the business that raised the most at $7,824.

Winning the award for non-profits was repeat-awardee Hale Makua, which collected $25,446. 

“We are proud to host this annual fund-raising endeavor. The charity walk represents the visitor industry’s commitment to giving back to the community. All monies raised on Maui County, stays in Maui County,” said Carol Reimann, executive director of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association (MHLA).

“Our ability to provide for Maui’s non-profits — especially during these tough economic times — is a direct reflection of the integrity and philanthropic conviction of the fine businesses in the visitor industry. And Maui has always done it in grand style. 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 simultaneously on Maui, Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island. This year, MHLA also hosted a walk on Molokai.    

The Charity Walk is one of Hawaii’s largest single-day fund-raisers with thousands of walkers. The event typically raises over $1 million annually to benefit charities. Funds will continue to roll in, and a final tally will be announced in August.

Mark your calendar for next year’s Visitor Industry Charity Walk on May 14, 2011. For more information, contact MHLA at 244-8625 or info@mauihla.org.