Countdown to Charity Walk

LIHUE — If Marc Bennor, chair of the 2015 Visitor Industry Charity Walk, had his way, the entire island would be walking in the Charity Walk which takes place Saturday at the historic County Building with registration starting at 6:30 a.m. and the walk starting at 7 a.m.

Saturday was the final opportunity for walk-in walkers to register for the 37th annual Charity Walk, but Bennor said people can continue to register online and they will be directed to registrars located throughout the island.

“This walk is open to everyone and people wanting to be part of this ‘Lucky Live Kauai’ event can also show up Saturday during the registration period which starts at 6:30 a.m.,” Bennor said. “I would love to have the entire island walking.”

The goal for this year’s walk is 2,200 walkers and $250,000.

“This is an aggressive goal,” Bennor said. “But it is very do-able.”

Mary Lardizabal, director of the Kapaa Middle School Ukulele Band and Choir, said hers is one of the new groups participating in this year’s walk.

“I learned from Kevin Matsunaga of the Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School media program that he got help from the Charity Walk,” Lardizabal said. “We can use help to get our students to the Heritage Music Festival — we’re walking!”

Matsunaga said his media students were able to get a laptop computer through the courtesy of the Charity Walk, and in return, he had his student crews working on a video of the event. The student crews will also be on hand Saturday to get footage of the 2.9-mile walk through the streets of Lihue.

“Each time I do a graduation, I stress out,” said Joseph Savino, the Kauai Drug Court administrator who celebrated his 25th Drug Court graduation on Friday. “But when I see this (pointing to The Garden Island article), it’s all worthwhile.”

Savino said the Charity Walk and the Kauai United Way provide between 80 to 85 percent of the costs needed to help the Kauai Drug Court with its different programs.

The 2015 Visitor Industry Charity Walk will start with registration, coffee, sunrise exercise and safety briefings at 6:30 a.m. Saturday. The walk starts at 7 a.m. followed by entertainment, prize drawings, and “Breakfast on the Lawn” prepared by chefs from the various Kauai resorts and hotels.

Pledge forms are available at all four Ace Hardware stores as well as the Menehune Marts on the island.


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