LIHU‘E — The 34th Visitor Industry Charity Walk is coming up, but the fun has already begun. Members of the visitor industry and its allied partners hosted a bowling tournament Saturday night to benefit the charity walk.
“This is just part of the way people can get together, have fun and still help the charity walk,” said Jolene Ogle of the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association, Kaua‘i Chapter, as she went from lane to lane getting team photos for the walk’s FaceBook page.
The charity walkers will put their best slippah forward on May 12 starting at 7 a.m. at the Historic County Building.
Denise Wardlow, general manager of the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas and chair of the event, said the idea is to have fun while helping others who need assistance.
The walk lost little time doing that, hosting a “Zumba to the 80s” event in cooperation with the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa and the Marriott Waiohai Beach Club just days after the formal launch took place.
This was followed by the bowling tournament, where in addition to the sold-out lanes, various visitor industry organizations hosted tables with an assortment of fundraising items, including guessing games with a stay at a Maui resort as the prize, plus off-island goodies like Punalu‘u Bakery, and more.
Chip Bahout, the general manager of the Sheraton Kaua‘i, arrived with a box of goodies and was promptly sandwiched between the top and bottom layer of a slippah, rolling several balls from the oversized slippah.
Another gathering will take place May 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Kukui Grove Center when the beneficiaries of the Charity Walk will have exhibits and representatives on hand to showcase their organization and talk about the help and services they provide the community.
There will also be a slate of entertainment and a silent auction at the event which will also be accepting last-minute applications for the walk.
“In 2011, proceeds from the walk was able to provide funds to 40 of Kaua‘i’s nonprofit organizations,” Wardlow said in a release. “We are very proud to be able to bring friends and family together every year for this fun event and give back to our Kaua‘i community. Last year, we were able to raise $137,300 and this year, the goal is $175,000, which we are confident we can achieve.”
Registration application forms are available at all Ace Hardware stores on Kaua‘i and all of the Menehune Food Marts or by visiting www.charitywalkhawaii.org or calling Wardlow at 827-8726.
Since its inception in 1978, more than $23 million has been raised and helped hundreds of local charities throughout the state.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.