Charity Walk funds distributed to nonprofits

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association president Mufi Hannemann congratulates Lillian Watari of the Hanalei Bay Resort on being the top individual fundaiser for the 2019 Kauai Visitor Industry Charity walk, Tuesday during the distribution of funds for the walk.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Representatives of the 60 nonprofit organizations and the Charity Walk Committee celebrate the awarding of funds from the Kauai Visitor Industry Charity Walk over breakfast at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club, Tuesday.

NAWILIWILI — Astrid Andersson, representing the Kauai Sailing Association, said this was the first time they were beneficiaries of the Charity Walk funds Tuesday at the Kauai Marriott Resort &Beach Club.

“We’re using the funds to get new parts for our boats so more kids can sail,” said Andersson, a skipper aboard the Nawiliwili Yacht Club shoreline series race. “We want more boats so more young people can get on the water.”

The Kauai Sailing Association was one of 60 nonprofits that shared in the more than $451,588 raised during the Kauai Visitor Industry Charity Walk in May.

Funds stay on Kauai, and surpassed the planning committee’s goal of $410,000.

“We hear your footsteps,” said Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association president Mufi Hannemann who flew in for the funds distribution. “This walk represents so much energy and effort from so many people that has resulted in the state finishing with $2.7 million for our nonprofit organizations that do such good work in the community. Kauai did well, right on the heels of Oahu. Maui leads everyone, and the Big Island is always strong so we all need to bring our A game to this walk. Our nonprofits can always use the help because we can’t expect government to do everything.”

Co-chair for the event were Chip Bahouth of the Sheraton Kauai Resort and Jacob Vogelgesang of the Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club, and Morgan Lopez of the HLTA Kauai.

Vogelgesang and Lopez will continue as co-chair for the 2020 walk, and will get the services of Matt Ellis of the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa as co-chair.

“We were off by just $100,” Bahouth said. “I could’ve written a check for that amount, but we couldn’t do that.”

The difference gave the Hanalei Bay Resort the honor of being the resort raising the most funds at $439,449.01, led by the individual efforts of Lillian Watari, followed by the Sheraton Kauai at $37,348.58 raised.

“The Charity Walk is a big part of our activities calendar,” said Josie Pablo, Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Kauai Region recreational director that encompasses both the Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital and the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital. “Not only do funds from the Charity Walk benefit the hospital’s respective auxiliaries for equipment and supplies, we also participate in the walk — yes, we had the two hospitals out, this year — as a way to get our residents out into the community. The residents really enjoy doing this.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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