Big losers

POIPU — Looking to bring new life to the annual challenge of raising funds for the Visitor Industry Charity Walk, Grand Hyatt Kauai has trimmed down this year.

Seeking to make it fun, the resort’s Charity Walk coordinator Jessie Reid came up with a weight-loss challenge for her colleagues. The event was structured as a team event with individual weight loss contributing to the team’s overall loss and the winning team being measured on the greatest percentage of weight lost as a whole.

Individuals paid $30 to participate, raising $3,240 to support island programs and nonprofits. The four-week competition sparked 108 participants, 27 teams, to take on the challenge and resulted in a cumulative loss of 807 pounds by employees of the resort.

Jez Campos of Wildlife, Roy Costa from Water Features and Bill Cabanes and Ansen Yasay of Hale Nalu made up the winning team, losing 9.95 percent of their starting weight for a total of 88.4 pounds.

As assistant spa manager, Reid is surrounded by health and wellness daily.

“I know many colleagues want to lose weight but often struggle on their own and thought the team environment would offer motivation as well as support and, of course, a bit of competitiveness,” Reid said.

Wanting to help colleagues take that first step, she designed a month of activities. Reid enlisted Eric Botsford of Crossfit Poipu, who led a nutrition class at the beginning of the month followed by a workout session every other week.

Additionally, the resort hosted the second Bum Run, a fun run/walk around the front seven holes of Poipu Bay Golf Course, as well as an Aqua Zumba class led by Troy Lazaro and weekly group workout options. Weekly weigh-ins were required.

“I ’ve been wanting to lose some weight and get healthier for a while but just hadn’t done anything about it, so this was great timing and good motivation to really do it,” said Andy Pungan, a security officer. “I have a new grandson and I want to have more energy for him.”

Bill Cabanes cited his sister’s upcoming wedding as a motivator to shed some pounds.

The 38th annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk raises monies to support 40-60 programs and non-profit organizations on Kauai each year. The is scheduled 7 a.m. May 14, at the Historic County Building on Rice Street and is followed by a bevy of entertainment and food from island chefs.

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