LIHUE — Tanner Stoen, sous Chef at the Sheraton Kauai Resort, has lofty plans for the 39th annual Charity Walk.
“This is his first Charity Walk, but he’s a runner,” said Annette Wong of the Sheraton Kauai. “He’ll probably run the 2.9-mile course and jump right in with the culinary crew to prepare breakfast, too.”
Stoen and Wong were among the more than 100 people who enjoyed the breakfast launch of the Kauai 2017 Charity Walk Wednesday at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club.
The goal, $275,000, is a big for the small island, but organizers are confident.
Paul Toner, general manager for the Kauai Marriott, serves as the chair of this year’s Charity Walk which, on Kauai, will be held May 13 at the Historic County Building.
“We have several walks that day,” said Alex Roth of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association. “We have to spread out the office to be at all of the walks. I’m hoping I get to come to the Kauai walk.”
Roth explained the new online fundraising efforts for this year’s walk whose main purpose is to help Kauai’s community by providing monetary support to the many charities and nonprofit organizations.
“All funds raised on Kauai stays on Kauai,” said Toner whose affiliation with the Charity Walk dates back to when his mother-in-law spoke of the event. “The goal for this year’s walk is $275,000 and having 2,300 walkers participating. As Ben Sullivan, representing Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. put it, we may not be the biggest island, but we have the biggest hearts.”
Residents and visitors alike are invited to participate in the walk around Lihue town followed by a free, breakfast on the lawn with entertainment. Walkers also have an opportunity to earn prizes provided by community organizations and businesses.
Individuals participating have an opportunity to earn a commemorative walk shirt for a minimum pledge of $35.
During the 2016 walk, the Kauai Charity Walk saw 2,118 walkers raising $264,411, surpassing its goal of $250,000. The proceeds were shared among 62 Kauai nonprofit organizations.
“We will have our culinary arts students helping,” said Chef Martina Hilldorfer of the Kauai Community College culinary arts department whose students receive HLTA scholarships.
Top fundraiser for 2016 saw the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa generate more than $30,000 through a combined individual contributions and resort promotional campaigns. This was followed by the Westin Princeville, which generated more than $23,000, and the Kauai Marriott finishing in a tie for third place with the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort for $20,500.
“This is Grant James’ first year as general manager for the Kauai Beach Resort,” said Maile Lewis. “I’ve already briefed him on details of the pancake breakfast coming up April 22. I’m finalizing the last details on what we’re going to do.”
Other fundraising events include the sold-out night of bowling at Kauai Bowl on April 15, and the Countdown to the Charity Walk on May 6 at the Kukui Grove Center, where walkers are able to pick up their walk shirts, make final pledges, register, and meet some of the nonprofit beneficiary organizations while shopping through the silent auction.
Information: www.charitywalkHawaii.org., 652-8924