30th annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk tomorrow

Thirty years ago visitor industry leaders held a “Superwalk” to raise funds for one charitable organization in the islands. Today the event that began in support of one organization has grown to include 30 charitable organizations on Kaua‘i. The Visitor Industry Charity Walk is one of the largest single day fundraisers in Hawai‘i — assisting a multitude of non-profit organizations.

Each island hosts a fun, early-morning event filled with exercise, food and music to raise funds for local non-profit organizations. Money raised on Kaua‘i stays on Kaua‘i to support programs that help the community.

Tomorrow people from all walks of life will come together to raise funds, talk story and have fun.

The theme for the 30th anniversary looks back on how far the event has come and looks to the future at how to increase participation and raise funds to help Kaua‘i’s charitable organizations.

Besides walking, businesses and organizations raise funds through internal fundraising projects like selling lau lau to employees and friends or hosting “white elephant” sales. All proceeds from these sales are donated to the charity walk.

Visiting musician Henry Kapono will participate this year as well as perform at the end. University of Hawai‘i Warriors Football Head Coach Greg McMackin will also join walkers.

Hosts for the day will be Keahi Tucker from KGMB news and Kaua‘i’s familiar media personality Ron Wiley.

The 3-mile walk begins at 7 a.m. at the Historic County Building in Lihu‘e, meanders through town and then ends at the county building. Afterwards there’s a feast prepared by local chefs. Last year there was something for every taste, from macadamia nut crusted French toast with roasted pineapple and Tahitian vanilla compote, to tofu and green onion miso soup.

Last year over 1,900 walkers raised over $180,000 for 30 local charities. Some of the organizations that reap the benefits of the event are Girls Scouts of Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i Humane Society and the Mahelona Auxiliary.

• For more information and walker applications, visit charitywalk.org or call Matt Humphreys, Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort & Spa at 240-6401 or Jolene Ogle, Hawai‘i Hotel & Lodging Association Kaua‘i Chapter at 246-9149.

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