Visitor Industry Charity Walk raises a record $200K

The Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, Kauai chapter, held a very successful 35th annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk, raising a record dollar amount of more than $200,000 dollars. This year, 2,133 walkers participated, the most in the event’s history. The theme was “Put Your Best Slippah Forward, a Tradition of Kokua.”

The walk began at the Historic County Building and took walkers through Lihue on a 2.9 mile route. At the end of the walk, participants enjoyed entertainment, prize drawings and breakfast prepared by resort chefs from the Starwood Hotels Kauai, Grand Hyatt Kauai, Kauai Marriott, Marriott Waiohai, Aston Aloha Beach Resort and Kauai Beach Resort. The Charity Walk was open to the public and residents and visitors were welcome to participate.

Each year, proceeds from the walk support Kauai’s nonprofit and charitable organizations. Qualified nonprofit organizations were able to submit applications for 2013 funding. In 2012, over 40 organizations benefited, including Kauai Search and Rescue, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kauai, Special Olympics Kauai, American Cancer Society, Easter Seals Hawaii, Kauai Hospice, YWCA of Kauai, Kauai Lifeguard Association, and the Kauai Independent Food Bank.  

We are very proud to be able to bring friends and family together every year for this fun event and give back to our Kauai community. The support from our island community was overwhelming, and truly reflects in the Charity Walk’s unprecedented success.

The Charity Walk is a statewide event that occurs on Kauai, Oahu, Hawaii Island, Maui and Molokai in May. In 2013, 14,736 walkers raised over $1,671,436 to help our local charities. Over the years, the HLTA’s annual walk has grown to become one of the largest single day fundraising events by a nonprofit organization in the state of Hawaii. Since its inception in 1978, over $24 million has been raised and helped hundreds of local charities throughout the state.

The Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association is an important partner in the economy and the community since its founding more that 60 years ago. The goal of the HLTA and its members is to build on this strong relationship by keeping the visitor industry strong and healthy, contributing to the welfare of the community, and preserving all that is special about Hawaii and its people.  

• Stephanie Reid is the director of public relations at St. Regis Princeville and the 2013 Charity Walk chairperson.

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