Counting down

LIHUE — Christina Gabriel, president of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, Kauai Chapter, was thrilled to learn the bankers had earned an extra $16,000 Saturday during a kickoff for the upcoming Visitor Industry Charity Walk.

“We have some of the nonprofits who have teams walking,” said Gabriel, also the general manager of the Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club. “Some of them are turning in their receipts now instead of waiting until the walk.”

Proceeds from the Visitor Industry Charity Walk on Kauai stay on the island and are distributed to nonprofit organizations who apply for consideration of the proceeds generated by the annual walk.

Representatives of some of those agencies joined Charity Walk organizers at Kukui Grove Center with information on their respective programs and to recruit help for their cause.

Padraic Gallagher, the Kauai County director for the American Red Cross, was joined by Mary Lu Kelley of People Attentive To Children, which earlier had hosted bake sales at their Solypsis Building offices with Leadership Kauai to benefit the walk.

The sounds of the Joyful Noise taiko ensemble, working under the leadership of Ka‘imi Beatty in the absence of Aki Conquest, stimulated the people to action, a preview of next weekend when the ensemble will send off walkers.

The Visitor Industry Charity Walk, which has a goal of $250,000, will take place Saturday at the historic County Building starting at 6:30 a.m. with safety briefings and a warm up.

The 2.9-mile walk around Lihue will start at 7 a.m. with walkers returning to breakfast stations set up by various resort members of the HLTA.

A minimum pledge of $35 earns a commemorative shirt. Registration can be done at the walk starting at 6:30 a.m.

“I wanted to check with George Thronas of the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa on how we are on goal,” Gabriel said.

“But he’s been busy as chair of the walk, so I guess we’ll find out Saturday. Jim Braman of Castle Resorts will be the next HLTA, Kauai Chapter president, and he’s already busy checking in with the nonprofits, the silent auction and all of the people. This countdown event has always been successful, and it’s only going to get better.”

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