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Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association awards Charity Walk funds

PO‘IPU — For the handful of leaders handing out award checks on Wednesday, the feeling was greater than Christmastime as representatives of 52 nonprofits received their awards based on the figures earned during the 2023 Visitor Industry Charity Walk in May.

“Last year (2021), we had a record year by raising more than $457,000,” said Charity Walk Chair Ike Cockett of the Hilton Garden Inn Wailua Bay. “This year, we had a short year with about nine months to earn funds. But thanks to the generosity of the community (that includes sponsors, nonprofits, and individuals), we had another record year, raising more than $570,000. That’s more money raised than O‘ahu.”

Kaua‘i finished the Charity Walk season in second place in the state only to Maui, which earned top fundraiser status with more than $1 million raised.

At a breakfast sponsored by Keoki’s Paradise in the Po‘ipu Shopping Village on Wednesday, it served as a gathering place where the funds were distributed to the nonprofit agencies, making good on the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association, Kaua‘i Chapter’s claim of monies raised on Kaua‘i, stays on Kaua‘i.

In addition to the awards to the nonprofits, the Charity Walk Committee presented a special $5,000 award to the Kapa‘a Pop Warner Football Association as a means of helping the association meet its deadline for getting students back onto the football field.

“Remember the shed that burned down in Kapa‘a earlier this year?” Cockett said. “That belonged to the Kapa‘a Pop Warner who lost almost all of its equipment that was being stored in the off-season. The association was doing a series of fundraisers in hopes of not having to have their student-athletes miss out on the season that started on Aug. 1.”

In the absence of Wescon Regional Director Teddy Arroyo or Lani Cummings of the Kapa‘a Pop Warner Association, the special award was presented to Council Chair Mel Rapozo, a previous Wescon commissioner, and Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football League official.

Cockett said there hasn’t been a firm goal set for the 2024 Charity Walk, although Rapozo strongly suggested a figure of $700,000.

Can we do it?
Source: The Garden Island

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