POIPU — Kauai Fire Chief Robert Westerman, Scott Giarman and Lynette Medrano-Stine represented the Kauai United Way, receiving a check of more than $16,000 Thursday at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa.
The presentation capped the “Holiday Giving” for the Grand Hyatt Kauai where the resort coordinated a variety of giving opportunities over the years.
“The 2016 holiday season was especially rich with everyone from Keith Butz, the general manager, to spa staff and housekeeping participating,” said Diann Hartman, Hyatt public relations director.
The Kauai United Way contribution is a combination of fundraising and payroll deductions totaling $16,459.23.
“Fundraising for Kauai United Way covered a variety of activities,” said Katy Britzmann, Grand Hyatt’s sales director. “We had a weight loss challenge where associates formed different teams with the goal of losing the great amount of weight, lettuce sales from our hydroponic gardens, a white elephant sale, a Movie Night where associates could bring their families to the resort, and a Jeans Day where associates would pay $5 for the privilege of wearing jeans to work. That was really popular.”
The remainder of the KUW contribution came from payroll deductions.
“As the largest private employer on the island, it is great to be able to give back to the community in so many different and meaningful ways,” Butz said. “Our staff appreciates that organizations like the Kauai United Way, Kauai Independent Food Bank and the Kauai Humane Society are able to help friends and neighbors as well as some of the associates, directly. The associates enjoy the many creative fundraisers coordinated throughout the year that make giving fun.”
Giarman liked the term “fun.”
“The generous management and staff of the Grand Hyatt Kauai included a vital component in this year’s campaign — they made it fun,” Giarman said. “Clever supplemental fundraising ideas like wearing jeans to work for a $5 donation do that, and boost employee morale. Another important thing the Grand Hyatt did was to use the Kauai United Way Agency Directory as an employee resource. Everyone needs some of the Kauai United Way’s 29 Partner Agencies once in a while. It feels good for everyone to do their part to ensure these vital organizations stay healthy and available for us when we need them, and our children in the future.”
In December, the Grand Hyatt Kauai hosted a food drive for the Kauai Independent Food Bank and delivered 3,348 pounds of food to feed Kauai’s residents.
“The people food drive was followed by one for the Kauai Humane Society’s pet food bank, Gomez’s Galley, where the resort delivered 193 pounds of food to help island pets and their owners make ends meet,” Hartman said. “Additionally, the sales and marketing team made more than 300 dog treets and 50 cat toys so the animals at the shelter would have treats this holiday season.”
December giving continued when the resort collected more than 200 gifts for the elder care homes with the collection being delivered by 16 Christmas-caroling associates to more than 100 residents at Hale Kupuna, the Garden Isle Health Care, the Kauai Care Center, and the Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital.
Hartman said the resort provided its annual Thanksgiving service of cooking the food for The Salvation Army’s annual community luncheon at the Hanapepe Corps.
“Marisa Hurley, the resort’s director of events, and her children, Olivia and Lucas, were back delivering Thanksgiving dinners to the Poipu Lifeguard Tower as well as the Kalaheo and Koloa fire stations,” Hartman said. “Last year was one of the first years since the kids were small that they were away for Thanksgiving. Olivia and Lucas were disappointed to have missed this opportunity so the family planned to be here this year so the kids could deliver the lunches to the hard-working lifeguards and firemen.”
Giarman said this is the third straight year that the Grand Hyatt Kauai has increased its KUW donation following their 2013 record-setting campaign.
The Grand Hyatt contribution brings the Kauai United Way 2016 Campaign to 63 percent of the ambitious goal of $700,000 which symbolically represents the seven decades Kauai United Way has been serving the island.