Charity walk postponed

LIHU‘E — The annual Kaua‘i Visitor Industry Charity Walk, celebrating its 42nd year and originally scheduled for May 9, has been postponed until Nov. 21 at the Vidinha Stadium soccer fields, announced Morgan Lopez, executive director of the Hawai‘i Lodging &Tourism Association Kaua‘i Chapter.

“As the COVID-19 situation continues to deteriorate in Hawai‘i, it has become abundantly clear that we must, in the name of public health and safety, postpone the annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk,” Lopez said.

“However, I am pleased to announce that we have secured a new date — Nov. 21. While this situation may not be ideal, it was made in consideration of everybody’s best interests.”

Lopez said she has been contacted by a number of walk participants looking to give back during this time that everyone is struggling to address COVID-19.

“In what has become an unprecedented week in Hawai‘i’s history, I continue to be touched and impressed by the sacrifices that so many are making for the greater good of our community,” said HLTA President and CEO Mufi Hannemann in a letter to the HLTA membership.

“HLTA continues to work closely with Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau to ensure that the entire tourism community remains up to date with the most recent information and updates. With Governor David Ige’s mandated 14-day quarantine in effect, we continue to see visitor arrival numbers decrease, hopefully bringing our state closer to flattening the curve and ridding our islands of COVID-19,” said Hannemann.

Lopez said donations already received for the 42nd annual walk will be uninterrupted, and the walk will continue to accept donations up until November, toward its $500,000 goal.

“No matter your situation, if there is a way that HLTA can help you or, if there is a way you can help the community, please let me know,” Morgan said. “Whether you provide services to the housing- or food-insecure, or serve our kupuna, please communicate how we may be of service.”

Lopez said the HLTA Kaua‘i Chapter is seeing donations of personal protective equipment for various organizations, including Wilcox Health, Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital and the island’s first responders.

“These PPE includes commercial or homemade face masks, gloves, face shields, and heating ventilation air conditioning suits and gowns,” Lopez said.

“A special mahalo to the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort &Spa, the Princeville Resort and Pono Kai for their generous donations. We have reached out to our nonprofits and are coordinating their needs of PPE as well as volunteers, sanitizing products and food. Should you have any of these items, or if you or anyone you know needs a pattern or supplies to assist with homemade face masks, or would like to volunteer, please let me know,” she said.

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