Walkers get in shape for May 20 event

LIHU’E — Shayne Tokita has been a waver for many years.

This year, she’s walking.

Tokita, who is the director of the Easter Seals Kaua’i Chapter, has been leading their staff and volunteers to help cheer on Visitor Industry Charity Walkers for years.

But, on May 19, one day before the 2006 Kaua’i Visitor Industry Charity Walk, Tokita will be turning over the pompoms and reins to Kate Layne, who will be leading this year’s wavers.

“She’ll be waving, I’ll be walking,” an excited Tokita said as she worked to fill out her paperwork in anticipation of the Visitor Industry Charity Walk on May 20, or, if you go according to the Hawai’i Hotel & Lodging Association calendar, the third Saturday in May. This is the 28th annual walk.

The Easter Seals is one of the beneficiaries of funds raised by the Visitor Industry Charity Walk, and was on hand along with other beneficiary agencies to help spread awareness about their respective programs to both shoppers at Kukui Grove Center as well as walkers who were able to pick up their paperwork for this year’s event.

Ron Wiley of KQNG radio was joined by Dickie Chang of Wala’au Productions as the pair utilized their electronic-media skills to help spread the word, Wiley using a cell phone to do his live broadcast.

Augie T. joined members of the walk committee, headed by this year’s chair, Angela Vento, general manager of the Sheraton Kauai Resort in Po’ipu, in kicking off the event at the stage of the mall.

The format of fun prevailed at the kickoff as it does at the walk, as Augie T. worked his magic by mingling with the audience, extracting jokes for an impromptu joke contest with the “Wala’au” videocam hounding the comedian’s moves throughout the food-court area.

Walkers need to raise a minimum of $35 per person to walk and earn some of the many premiums that abound at this annual event, including the sumptuous post-walk breakfast prepared by the culinary staffs of hosting resorts.

Walkers younger than 18 years old need to raise a minimum of $25. Prizes are also awarded to walkers who raise the most money.

In addition to the kickoff celebration, the Charity Walk hosted a bowling fund-raiser Saturday night at the Lihue Bowling Center.

Teams of six bowlers paid $350 per team to enter the tournament, a 9-pin, no-tap scoring event with no handicap.

The 28th Annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk will kick off at 7 a.m. on May 20 on the grounds of the historic County Building.

Following the three-mile, circle-Lihu’e walk, walkers will be treated to “local kine entertainment as well as a taste of Kaua’i,” according to the Hawai’i Hotel & Lodging Association Web site.

Applications for Charity Walk funding are also available on this Web site, www.hhla.affiniscape.com.

For more information on the walk of distribution of walk funds, people may contact Jolene Ogle at the Kaua’i Marriott Resort & Beach Club, 246-5149.

“After all these years of waving, I get a chance to walk,” Tokita said as she showed off her first two pledges. “See? I’m walking.”

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