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Charity Walk final tally in at $492,304

By Staff | Sep 8, 2011

Charity Walk Chairman Bill Countryman of the Wailea Beach Marriott and Carol Reimann of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association honored eight-year old Declan Levin as the Charity Walk Inspiration Award winner.

WAILUKU — The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association announced that the final tally for the 33rd annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk on Maui totaled an impressive $492,304 — $135,000 more than last year.

Held in May, the event drew more than 2,100 walkers.

In a special Charity Reception held at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on Aug. 22, more than 70 nonprofit organizations were honored for their participation in the event.

The following non-profits and businesses were singled out for their top fundraising efforts:

Nonprofit Agencies Raising the Most Funds — Hale Makua with $59,382, Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation with $17,653 and Maui Humane Society with $14,336; Properties Raising the Most Funds — Grand Wailea at $50,015, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa at $32,930, and Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club at $14,336; Businesses Raising the Most Funds — Bank of Hawaii with $8,615, Oceanic Time Warner Cable with $5,020 and VIP Foodservice with $3,701.

The top individual fundraiser was Mitch Mitchell, representing Hale Makua, who collected $33,800.

The Charity Walk is one of the largest single-day fundraising events in Hawaii. Statewide, over $1 million was raised via walks held on Oahu, Kauai, the Big Island, Maui and Molokai.

Maui continues to raise more dollars per capita than any other island, and for the second year in a row raised more money than any other island in the state.

Since the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association started hosting the event in 1980, Maui raised a cumulative total of $6.1 million to benefit numerous nonprofit organizations on Maui, Molokai and Lanai.

All of the funds raised on Maui stay in Maui County to benefit the local community and its residents.

Over the years, there have been many heartwarming stories about generous individuals who go above-and-beyond in raising funds for their nonprofit during the Charity Walk.

Because of these amazing stories, a new honor — the Charity Walk Inspiration Award — began this year.

This award recognizes an individual who has a compelling story that exemplifies the true meaning of giving. The inaugural Charity Walk Inspiration Award went to Declan Levin, an eight-year-old boy who, rather than receiving birthday presents, asks his friends and family to make donations to his favorite charity, Hawaii Canines for Independence.

Declan is the son of Doug and Maureen Levin of Wailuku. In addition to winning a silver slipper trophy, a $500 donation in his name was given to his favorite charity.

The annual Charity Walk is the visitor industry’s way of giving back to the community. Many MHLA property and business members work year-round to raise funds for this worthy endeavor.

“Our industry remains committed to providing for and positively impacting the lives of the people of Maui County,” said Carol Reimann, executive director for the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association.

“This year, we are thrilled to have raised $135,000 more than last year, which has enabled us to award significant and valuable funding to over 70 worthy Maui County organizations from the event’s proceeds. 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.”

The 2012 Visitor Industry Charity Walk will be held on May 12.