Charity walkers blaze past goal

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Walkers make their way along Umi Street Saturday during the Kauai Visitor Industry Charity Walk.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Walkers participating in the Kauai Visitor Industry Charity Walk make their way along Umi Street through the Molokoa neighborhood Saturday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Chip Bahouth and Jacob Vogelgesand unload a wagonful of rubba slippahs for the first rubba slippah drop Saturday during the Kauai Visitor Industry Charity Walk.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Cherie Amulacion reacts with glee after being announced the winner of the Central Pacific Bank giveaway by Sheri Johnson and Ron Wiley Saturday during the Kauai Visitor Industry Charity Walk at the north Vidinha Stadium fields.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Spectators watch as the first rubba slippah drop rains down on a portion of the north Vidinha Stadium fields Saturday during the Kauai Visitor Industry Charity Walk.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Cody Bonilla of American Medical Response, on bike, is among the tight group of finishers being welcomed by members of the Kapaa High School football team Saturday during the Kauai Visitor Industry Charity Walk at Vidinha Stadium.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Joanna Nishimura of the Kauai Community College Nursing Club helps Angela Hoover in distributing Girl Scout Cookies along the Umi Street segment of the Kauai Visitor Industry Charity Walk Saturday.

LIHUE — Jacob Vogelgesang, one of the Kauai Visitor Industry Charity Walk leaders, had an amazing birthday present, Saturday at the North Vidinha soccer fields.

“Today is Jacob’s birthday,” said Ron Wiley, the emcee for the 2019 Kauai Visitor Industry Charity Walk. “Jacob has been involved with the charity walk for a long time. With a goal of $410,000 in mind, today you folks helped raise $442,404! We also had more than 2,000 walkers participating to help the 60 nonprofit organizations with the work they do to help our island.”

Stacy Chiba-Miguel said the total does not include the nearly $1,500 raised by the first Rubbah Slippah Drop presented by the Hawaii USA credit union that had an incentive of a Las Vegas trip attracting people who felt lucky.

That prize was settled via a janken po duel between Renae Hamilton of the YWCA of Kauai, and Susan Metivier who was helping Carol Manera Texeira of the Kauai Chamber of Commerce with registrations for the walk. Both finalists had slippers drop close to the target bucket (not a single slippah dropped in the bucket, although one bounced off the rim during the final drop), and following a tie with both finalists showing scissors, Metivier pocketed the prize with paper covering rock in the sudden death hand.

Fundraising efforts were led by the Golden Slippa award winner, Lillian Watari, who dropped in more than $31,326. Elizabeth Stewart’s efforts resulted in $3,800 earning the Silver Slippa award.

Among the field of walkers, Lt. Shawn Keoho of the Salvation Army, Hanapepe Corps pointed out Irenia Edrada and Florence Acain as the most eldest walkers, both ladies celebrating 85 years young.

“I’m surprised I made it,” Edrada said, dressed in a bright yellow party outfit. “Never even get sore, my legs.”

Walkers left the North Vidinha fields under the trumping of taiko by the Joyful Noise ensemble, and circled Lihue around a roughly three-mile loop, greeted by aid stations that offered a variety of refreshments and premiums along the route that snaked up Rice Street to Umi Street, connecting with Ahukini Road before returning to Vidinha Stadium along the Veterans Memorial Highway where they were greeted by the Kapaa High School football teams who distributed breakfast meal tickets.

“I was just here last night,” said Calvin Paleka, the Kapaa High School athletic director. “When I got home, my son said I needed to get him here, early. And, I still need to be back here by 1 p.m. when the Wally Yonamine Foundation Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II baseball tournament starts up. I need to find a place to rest.”

The top resort contributor was announced as Hanalei Bay Resort collecting $37,623, beating out the challenge from the Sheraton Kauai Resort who was chasing less than $300 at $37,331.

Other special award winners included Cherie Amulacion, a homeowner with the Kauai Habitat for Humanity, winning a trip aboard Alaska Airlines presented by Central Pacific Bank.

“I knew that was me when they had a hard time pronouncing my last name,” Amulacion, who will be celebrating her key passing, Friday, said. “This is the first time I’ve won anything. I’m just so lucky, lucky. I was so excited, I was shaking. When my daughter heard, the first thing she said is, ‘I wanna see snow.’”

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