Hawaii visitor support agency to hold fundraiser

HONOLULU — The Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, or VASH, a nonprofit agency that responds to Hawaii visitors in distress, is in need of more resources to meet growing demands.

The agency, in conjunction with the Waikiki Improvement Association and the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, will hold a fundraiser June 20 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel in Honolulu, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported .

Money raised will go toward providing visitors with transportation, clothing, food vouchers and assistance with accommodations, VASH President and CEO Jessica Lani Rich said.

“We’re hoping to raise at least $10,000 to carry us through the summer, which is a time of more need,” Rich said. “Our budget has been the same the last few years, but as more visitors come to Hawaii, we do see more incidents. There’s been a recent rash of crimes against our visitors but there are just more calls in general.”

Rich said VASH partners with other organizations to inform the public about crime trends and criminal hotspots and offer safety tips, especially about visiting Hawaii’s natural attractions.

“To many people this is paradise and they let their guard down,” Rich said. “If they use safety tips, most of them will have a wonderful vacation, but if they do things that they would never do back home, that’s a risk.”


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com


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