Mryvie Buster of Garden Island Federal Credit Union was thrilled to be able to next to Kelvin Moniz, executive director of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank Thursday morning at the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort &Spa.
“I had to sit next to him,” Buster said. “He recruited us to participate in this year’s charity walk. I can’t believe we were missing out on all this fun.”
Buster and the GIFCU team are among new participants in the 42nd annual Kaua‘i Visitor Industry Charity Walk that will take place May 9 with a 7 a.m. start at the Vidinha Stadium soccer fields.
Dan King, president of the Hawai‘i Lodging &Tourism Association Kaua‘i Chapter, announced the goal of $500,000, all of which stays on the island to help more than 60 nonprofit organizations.
“This started way back in 1974 with a Super Walk,” King said. “Over the years, it became the Visitor Industry Charity Walk, and has raised more than $26 million across the state to help local nonprofit organizations.”
During the 2019 campaign, the KVICW raised $451,884.79, surpassing its goal of $410,000. This effort was led by Hanalei Bay Resort raising $39,449.01, the Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort with $37,348.58, and the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort &Beach Club with $28,903.55. The total also included more than $60,000 in corporate sponsorships, an increase from the $11,000 raised in 2018.
The indication of fun was touted by a new, business-card-sized reminder and social media trigger that states, “Join us for the only walk where you can gain weight and enjoy a day of fun, food and friends in support of Kaua‘i’s charities.”
Chair people for this year’s campaign include Jacob Vogelsesan, Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club &Resort director of operations; Matt Ellis, the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort &Spa director of rooms; and Morgan Lopez, the HLTA Kaua‘i Chapter executive director.
“This walk started before I was born,” said Ellis, also noting the extensive support system that contributes to the walk’s success.
Chip Bahouth, general manager for the Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort in Po‘ipu, announced the 2020 Fishing for Charity Tournament will be held “after the walk,” June 26 through June 28, with the weigh-in taking place June 28 from noon until 4 p.m. on the lu‘au lawn of the Sheraton Kaua‘i.
“The fishing is a lot better then,” Bahouth said of the event that was created following the departure of Big Kmart from the local community and the ensuing discontinuation of its popular shoreline fishing tournament. “Keiki are definitely involved in this tournament, with special keiki category prizes, and make it a family event.”
The first event getting the charity walk off the ground takes place next Friday when The Shops at Kukui‘ula hosts its Flavors of Kukui‘ula benefiting the charity walk from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
“This was a lot of fun last year,” said Stacie Chiba-Miguel, The Shops at Kukui‘ula general manager. “This year is even better, with more items in the silent auction that include pool passes, hotel stays, both here and on O‘ahu, entertainment starting with David Parsons and Kaua‘i’s own Latin band, Rumba De Fuego.”
Charity walk individual registration is $40, Vogelgesang said, which includes an event T-shirt, the nearly three-mile walk through Lihu‘e, and a hearty breakfast.
Registration, pledge forms, and more information are available at charitywalkhawaii.org.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.