LIHUE — The 40th annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk shattered its 2018 goal of $280,000 Saturday at the North Vidinha soccer fields.
Co-chaired by Chip Bahouth of the Sheraton Kauai Beach Resort and Christina Gabriel of the Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club, the walk featured 2,200 walkers leaving the soccer fields under clear, cool conditions for a three-mile leisurely loop through Lihue.
As the walkers enjoyed the breakfast provided by several resorts and fine eateries, emcee Ron Wiley announced that Kauai walkers finished with $350,000, well beyond the $280,000 goal.
“This is what happens when everyone pulls together to help,” said Bahouth. “What a great feeling! Everyone needs to pat themselves on the back.”
During previous walks, Kauai had managed to squeak past its goals with late-event finagling and pocket digging to come up with its total.
“Surely, this has to be the best per capita amount,” said Wiley, emceeing the event since its inception. “This is Kauai strong!”
The ultimate goal was to raise funds that benefit nearly 60 local nonprofit organizations and their programs.
Topping the individual fundraising efforts, Lillian Watari of the Grand Pacific Resorts repeated as the Golden Slippah recipient for the fifth consecutive year, this year collecting more than $17,000.
The Silver Slippah award went to Lee Ann Malapit for $5,000 collected, and the Rubbah Slippah award went to Nick Nacion who finished with $1,700.
The resort earning the most funds went to the Grand Pacific Resorts, which finished with more than $44,000 collected.
Ross Robinson earned the inter-island getaway prize through the popular Heads or Tails selection process. The San Francisco grand prize package was taken by Norman Acupan who beat out Sharon Lasker in a jan ken po showdown after both competitors wanted the same side of the coin.
This was the first year the committee relocated the central site to Vidinha Stadium. The new site offered more room for greater involvement and participation by the beneficiary nonprofit organizations, better parking, and room to offer more breakfast selections.