The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association (MHLA) celebrated 40 years of giving back to the community with its annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk on Saturday, May 12. Over 3,500 walkers gathered at the War Memorial Soccer Field for an amazing and fun-filled morning of exercise, good food, great prizes and fabulous entertainment. At the end of the day, an impressive total of $1,357,639 was raised on Maui alone – breaking the million-dollar mark for the second time! The week prior, MHLA hosted walks on Molokai and Lanai bringing in $17,099 and $36,229 respectively for a GRAND TOTAL for Maui County of $1,410,967; an increase of $251,914 from last year!
Charity Walk Check Presentation, (L-R): Chelsea Davis, Hawaii News Now; Shane Kahalehau, KPOA; Lisa Paulson, MHLA Executive Director; Ryan Nobriga, Maui County Charity Walk Chair and GM at The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas.
Participants in the Walk include visitor industry workers, non-profit agencies and business representatives. Many of these hard-working walkers begin their fundraising efforts months prior to the event by collecting pledges, hosting bake sales, chili & stew cook-offs, benefit luaus, car washes, golf tournaments, tug-of-war competitions, a kick-ball tournament, even dunking booths and concerts.
Charity Walk Walkers
The Grand Wailea took top honors for the property bringing in the most with $45,577. Bank of Hawaii was the business who raised the most at $6,419. Winning the award for non-profit raising the most was West Side Hoops who collected $136,190. Top individual fundraiser was Dan Williams of West Side Hoops who collected $45,980. Property raising the most per capita was Maui Condo and Home at $483 per employee. And for the sixth year in a row Tri-Star Restaurant Group took first place in raising $7,000 for the restaurant category.
“Today was a beautiful day of the community coming together to raise funds for Maui County, enjoying 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 & philanthropic conviction of the visitor industry. 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 Hawaii Island. The Charity Walk is one of Hawaii’s largest single-day fundraiser with thousands of walkers and raises over $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 August 9.
Mark your calendar for next year’s Visitor Industry Charity Walk – Saturday, May 11, 2019.
For additional information, please contact us!