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Charity walk raises, distributes nearly $500,000

PO‘IPU — The appearance of Kelly Simek of the “Living 808” team, and her videographer from KHON2 on Wednesday was a hint there was excitement at the walk allocation breakfast where proceeds from the 2022 Kaua‘i Visitor Industry Charity Walk were distributed, at the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort &Spa.

Some 60 nonprofit organizations received checks from the annual walk presented by the Hawai‘i Lodging &Tourism Association.

Dan King, the general manager of the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort &Spa and assistant to Claudia Dowdy, the 2022 walk chair, said the 2022 walk, the return to an in-person format following the COVID-19 shutdowns, generated a record-breaking $457,054.30 (to be shared among Kaua‘i nonprofits), the second-highest amount generated in the state, second only to Maui that raised more than $1 million.

Statewide, last year’s walk raised $2.2 million, and since 1978, the state has raised $40 million to share with local nonprofit organizations

“This is even more than O‘ahu,” said Samira Siale, the HLTA Kaua‘i executive director. “Our little island even outdid the Big Island. And, because this breakfast is being sponsored by the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i, it gives us more to share.”

The top fundraising hotels and allied members include the Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort that dropped in more than $53,000, followed by the Hyatt with nearly $43,000. The Hanalei Bay Resort, home of the top individual fundraiser Lillian Watari, who raised $37,475.00, contributed $38,430.

That was followed by Koloa Landing Resort ($27,953.00), Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club ($25,031.00), and the Royal Sonesta Kaua‘i Resort Lihu‘e (23,362.00). The top allied fundraiser was Kipu Ranch Adventures, which finished with more than $7,000 collected.

Nonprofit organization participation in the walk was pivotal, the collective nonprofit organizations raising more than $103,000 of the total amount collected, the effort being led by the Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Public Charter School that dropped nearly $13,000 in the pot, and the Kaua‘i Community Cat Project adding more than $11,000.

King interrupted the flow of news with the announcement that Dowdy, who volunteered to chair the 44th walk, has been promoted to general manager in the Hyatt chain and will be unable to chair the event scheduled for the first Saturday in May because she leaves to take charge of a resort in California.

Darin Tann of Keoki’s Paradise will fill the chair position for the 45th Visitor Industry Charity Walk scheduled for May 6, 2023, at the Vidinha Stadium north fields.

“They just told me this today,” Tann said, trying to juggle between the breakfast and an upcoming fundraising event for the Boys &Girls Club of Hawai‘i on Saturday at Keoki’s Paradise. “We’re aiming to take on Maui!”

Siale announced the kick off breakfast for the 45th walk is being sponsored by the Kaua‘i Beach Resort near Hanama‘ulu in February.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or
Source: The Garden Island

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