LIHUE — The countdown has started. The 39th annual Kauai Visitor Industry Charity Walk will be held Saturday at the historic County Building. Late registration starts at 6:30 a.m. with the walk starting at 7 a.m.
Martin Steinhaus of the Kauai Drug Court was at Kukui Grove Center Saturday, turning in his pledges and picking up an event shirt. The Countdown to the Charity Walk event offered late registrations, a silent auction and exhibits from beneficiaries of the Charity Walk.
“It’s the wrong color shirt,” said Steinhaus, the coach for the Kauai High School boys soccer team. “It’s green. Maybe if I wait, they will make a red one.”
Paul Toner, general manager of the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club, chair of the 2017 walk, said although the walk is in full swing, it could still use some help.
The goal is $275,000 and 2,300 walkers. “We’re on our way,” Toner said. “But we can always use more help.”
Funds raised during the Kauai Visitor Industry Charity Walk stay on Kauai, Toner said.
The Joyful Noise taiko ensemble called the event to order with rousing numbers performed by adults and keiki members.
“All of my kids will be taking taiko,” said Stacie Chiba-Miguel, the Kukui Grove real estate manager. “How do you keep them from playing on the pots and pans?”
George Thronas, director of operations for The Point at Poipu and public relations for the Charity Walk, spoke with Kapaa Middle School Choir and Ukulele band member Jotis Russell on his winning the Legacy Lives On award during the group’s appearance at the Heritage Music Festival in Anaheim, California, during spring break.
“George was one of my first students when I took the job at Kapaa,” said Mary Lardizabal, director of the KMS Choir and Ukulele Band. “And look, he’s interviewing Jotis, who won the Legacy Lives On award by Disney and Heritage out of all the students who were at the festival.”
The Kapaa Middle School group, under Lardizabal and Loke Sasil, finished with double gold medals out of a field of 26 performing groups and more than 2,500 choirs.
“They truly represented with aloha,” Lardizabal said. “We owe a huge mahalo to the wonderful parents and chaperones, and to all our community supporters who donated in any way to help us defray the cost of the trip.”