LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Visitor Industry Walk is back in-person this year, the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association, Kaua‘i Chapter announced.
Walkers of all ages from 12 years and older will depart the soccer fields at Vidinha Stadium at 7 a.m. on Aug. 20 for a 3-mile loop through Lihu‘e before returning to the soccer fields, where a hearty breakfast prepared by at least five resorts await participants in the 43rd Annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk.
Berris Wall, the Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club general manager, and the HLTA Kaua‘i president, was joined by HLTA Kaua‘i Executive Director Samira Siale in announcing this year’s goal of $300,000. The money will be shared among at least 60 of Kaua‘i’s nonprofit organizations that provide vital services to the community.
“In 2020, there was no Walk because COVID-19 shut everything down,” Siale said. “But the need did not go away, and in 2021, there was no Walk, but through the creativity of the many HLTA member resorts and local nonprofits, including the Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort and their Table 53, the fishing contest that included both shoreline and boat fishing, the Charity Walk raised some $257,000 benefiting 46 nonprofits.”
The fishing tournament is listed as taking place on June 12 at Vidinha Stadium on the app.mobilecause.com/vf/Kauai link where walkers are able to register, track fundraising efforts, and learn about other Charity Walk events like the golf tournament coming up, July 9 ahead of the Aug. 20 walk.
Some of the relief going out during the pandemic included employee food distributions where the resorts hosted their employees and associates to food pickups to help during the time of furloughs and layoffs as the visitor industry adapted to the global pandemic.
“This is the Aloha Spirit,” said U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele on a visit to the Charity Walk Launch breakfast at the Kaua‘i Beach Resort and Spa. “This is why a lot of the visitors come. This is a reason to lend a hand to those who need the help.”
Lillian Watari held the reins of Top Individual Fundraiser with more than $21,000 raised during the 2019 Walk, the last in-person walk before COVID struck, where walkers combined to raise more than $453,000.
Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Charter School beat out the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i by less than $50 to become the top nonprofit fundraiser at $9,173.32 during the 2021 walk where the Top 10 nonprofits figured in $46,164.20 in fundraising efforts.
Premier Restoration Hawai‘i is the title sponsor for this year’s walk, and is joined by a host of slippahs, including the Platinum Slippahs, Gold Slippahs, Silver Slippahs, and Rubbah Slippahs with sponsorship packages available.
Claudia Dowdy of the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa is the Charity Walk Chair with Ryan Heraud of the Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach being the Charity Walk Co-chair.
Chip Bahouth of the Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort is in charge of Corporate Sponsorship along with Stacie Chiba-Miguel, the A&B Regional Manager .
Source: The Garden Island