Kipu Ranch Adventures recently started offering something unexpected to Kauai visitors: a heart. More specifically, three hearts, on the front and sides of a new, pristinely-wrapped luxury UTV available to book for raising funds benefiting Shriners Hospital in Honolulu.
The turquoise Teryx4 is a veritable gem in their already well-muscled fleet of off-roading vehicles, and highlights Shriners’ logo above the words, “Love to the rescue.”
Perhaps a fitting sentiment for the touring company featuring locations filmed in blockbusters, “Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” the fundraiser gives guests the opportunity to live their own action adventure while giving back to the community.
“People want to help and want to do good,” said Dionne Teves, director of operations. “This is a way for them to do so while having fun.”
What began as a request from CEO Ted Shanks to support Shriners’ efforts in purchasing a state-of-the-art EOS Imaging System aiding children with musculoskeletal disorders, quickly evolved into an innovative fundraising structure that capitalizes on local activity.
It works like this: when visitors schedule a tour and book the Shriners UTV on Kipu Ranch’s website, they are donating the net profits of their expedition to the cause at no additional cost. They get a picture with their vehicle and tour guide and the satisfaction of knowing they are giving back.
“We didn’t know we’d get so much support,” said General Manager Antone Teves. “It was almost instantaneous — awe inspiring. We were receiving $9,000 to $10,000 a month right out of the gate.”
More astonishing is the unexpected camaraderie instilled throughout staff and participants, drawn together by a sense of higher purpose.
Employees, excited by the effort, have received a daily boost over the course of the campaign, and guests often contribute even when the Shriners vehicle is already reserved. Everyone participates, inspired to witness, connect, and leave a tribute behind commemorating their time on the island.
Shriners is trying to raise $1 million for the Nobel Prize-winning system and with the help of visitors at Kipu Ranch Adventures, they are well on their way.
Having netted over $47,000 since the program launched in March, Kipu Ranch projects are projected to reach $56,000 by the end of the year.
“We couldn’t have done it without the visitors and we’d like to say thank you to them and to our team,” Teves said. “We hope that more efforts like this will encourage interest in the island.”