By Wendy Osher
The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association raised a record $475,101 in the 33rd Annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk held in Kahului this morning (Saturday, May 14, 2011)
An impressive 2,100 walkers put their “Best Slippah Forward” in keeping with this year’s theme to raise funds for charities on Maui.
Award for the most funds raised went to the following recipients:
- Mitch Mitchell: Top individual fundraiser, $33,800.
- The Grand Wailea: Top property fundraiser, $50,015.
- Bank of Hawaii: Top business, $8,615.
- Hale Makua: Top non-profit, $59,382 (repeat-awardee)
- Kahana Falls: Property raising the most per capita, $233 per employee.
The total money raised this year exceeded last year’s mark of $357,000 donations by $118,101. The $475,101 total for 2011 is the most money raised in the 33-year history of the event on Maui.
“We are extremely proud to host such a successful fundraising endeavor which brings together the visitor industry and the Maui community in grand style,” said Carol Reimann, Executive Director of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association.
All funds raised on Maui stay in Maui County. “Our ability to provide for Maui’s non-profits – especially during tough economic times – is a direct reflection of the integrity & philanthropic conviction of the fine businesses in the visitor industry. And Maui has always done it in grand style – our island continues to raise more funds per capital than any other island in Hawaii,” said Reimann.
Most of the participants included visitor industry workers, non-profit agencies, and business representatives. The walk began at the War Memorial Soccer Field in Kahului, and concluded with food, prizes and entertainment.
Many of the walkers began their fundraising efforts months prior to the event by collecting individual pledges, hosting bake sales, chili & stew cook-offs, benefit luaus, car washes, and concerts.
The Charity Walk is a statewide event, and is considered one of Hawaii’s largest single-day fundraisers, with thousands of walkers and typically raising over $1million annually to benefit local charities. Funds will continue to roll in throughout next month and a final tally will be announced in August.
Next year’s Maui Visitor Industry Charity Walk is scheduled for May 12, 2012.
*** Total fund raising amount updated 5/17/11.