NUKOLI — Art Fujita of the Kapa‘a High School Foundation celebrated his birthday in style, receiving funds for the foundation from the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association, Friday at the Kaua‘i Beach Resort.
The Kapa‘a High School Foundation was one of 40 Kaua‘i non-profit organizations receiving grants which resulted from the proceeds of the HLTA 2010 Visitor Industry Charity Walk.
Christina Gabriel, chair of the 2010 walk said 1,200 walkers helped raise $137,000 in the single-day event, resulting in the presenting of the checks during Friday’s breakfast.
“We were short of goal,” Gabriel said. “We also received many applications, but with the effort from all of the people, we were able to fulfill needs from 40 organizations.”
Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann of the HLTA said the change of name from Hawai‘i Hotel and Lodging Association was only recent, the decision based on the importance of tourism in the work being done by the association’s membership.
“I walked with you during the last charity walk,” Hannemann said. “What made the Kaua‘i walk so unique was the large turnout of government employees helping the community.”
Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said through the challenging times, he is grateful for how people continue to look for ways to make things work.
“All I can say is ‘thank you for all the work you do, every single day,’” Carvalho said. “We’re going through challenging times now, and we all pull and tug and make do with what we have, and don’t have. But this kind of effort is what it takes to make success.”
Gabriel also passed on the torch for the HLTA 2012 Visitor Industry Charity Walk to Denise Wardlow, general manager of the Westin Princeville.
“You’re all reappointed,” Wadlow said to the crew of volunteers who worked to make the 2011 walk a success.