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Visitor Industry Charity Walk raises $800,000

By Staff | May 28, 2015

A notable 2,285 walkers gathered at the War Memorial Soccer Field for a fun-filled morning of exercise, camaraderie, good food, prizes and entertainment.

WAILUKU – The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association (MHLA) celebrated 37 years of giving back to the community in grand style with its annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk on May 9 at War Memorial Soccer Field.

At the end of the day, an impressive total of $761,161 was raised on Maui. The week prior, MHLA hosted walks on Molokai and Lanai, bringing in $15,356 and $23,483, respectively.

An anonymous donor contributed the last $1,633 to achieve the grand total for Maui County of $800,000.

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.

Top fundraisers for the event include:

Individual: Dan Williams, Westside Hoops, $17,220; Mitch Mitchell, Hale Makua Health Services, $14,790; and Peter Tierney, SPCA Maui, $13,387;

Business: Bank of Hawaii, $9,998; Maui Vacation Rental Association, $8,970; and Clinical Laboratories of Hawaii, $2,085;

Nonprofit: Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation, $96,059; Hale Makua Health Services, $47,844; and Westside Hoops, $36,026;

Hotel Property Raising the Most Per Employee: Maui Condo & Home Vacations, $561.50/employee; Kahana Falls, $248.28/employee; and Aston Mahana at Kaanapali, $155.05/employee;

Property: Grand Wailea Resort & Spa, $33,634; Makena Beach & Golf Resort, $24,182; and Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, $23,482.

Restaurant: Tri-Star Restaurant Group, $8,000.

“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 shown their generosity, volunteerism and compassion in raising funds for 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 almost $2 million annually to benefit charity.

Funds will continue to roll in throughout this month. Maui is on pace to meet its goal of $1 million for Maui County. Final amounts raised will be announced at the Charity Walk Reception on Aug. 12.

Mark your calendar for next year’s Visitor Industry Charity Walk on Saturday, May 14, 2016. For additional information, contact the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association at 244-8625 or info@mauihla.org.