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Visitor Industry Charity Walks break records and exceed million dollar goal

By Staff | May 19, 2016

Dick Holtzman, Maui County Charity Walk chairman and vice president, managing director of Montage Kapalua Bay, and Lisa Paulson, Maui Hotel & Lodging Association executive director, show off this year’s grand total of $1,033,383.

WAILUKU – The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association (MHLA) celebrated 38 years of giving back to the community in grand style with its annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk on Saturday, May 14.

A notable 2,595 walkers gathered at War Memorial Soccer Field for an amazing and fun-filled morning of exercise, camaraderie, good food, great prizes and fabulous entertainment.

At the end of the day, an impressive total of $974,773 was raised on Maui – $213,612 more than last year. The week prior, MHLA hosted walks on Molokai and Lanai, bringing in $40,356 and $18,254, respectively, for a grand total for Maui County of $1,033,383.

Walk participants include 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, golf tournaments, tug-of-war competitions, a kick-ball tournament – even dunking booths and concerts.

Top fundraisers include:

The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association celebrated 38 years of giving back to the community with the Maui Visitor Industry Charity Walk on Saturday at War Memorial Soccer Field (see story on page 8). The three Maui County walks raised a grand total of $1,033,383 this year.

Individual – Mitch Mitchell, Hale Makua Health Services, $31,175; Dan Williams, Westside Hoops, $20,710; Shane Cunanen, Westside Hoops, $15,755;

Business – Bank of Hawaii, $15,750; Maui Vacation Rental Association, $11,050; VIP Food Service, $6,045;

Nonprofit: Westside Hoops, $91,730; Hale Makua Health Services, $86,513; Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation, $54,072;

Hotel Property Raising the Most Per Employee – Maui Condo & Home Vacations, $590/employee; Kahana Falls, $255/employee; Montage Kapalua Bay, $124/employee;

Property – Grand Wailea Resort & Spa, $48,281; Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, $35,296; Montage Kapalua Bay, $32,462;

Restaurant – Tri-Star Restaurant Group, $6,400.

“Today was a beautiful 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, MHLA executive director.

“Our ability to provide for Maui’s non-profits is a direct reflection of the integrity and philanthropic conviction of the visitor industry. I set a goal of one million two years ago, and today we surpassed that goal. This community is so strong and committed to caring for everyone; 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. The walk 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. Final amounts raised will be announced at the Charity Walk Reception on Aug. 10.

Mark your calendar for next year’s Visitor Industry Charity Walk: Saturday, May 13, 2017. For additional information, contact the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association at 244-8625 or info@mauihla.org.