32nd Annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk Raises $344,149 on Maui

May 16, 2010, 8:06 AM HST · Updated May 17, 5:41 AM
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The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association celebrated 32 years of giving back to the community on Saturday with its annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk. More than 1,800 walkers gathered at the War Memorial Soccer Field for the event, raising a total of $344,149 to benefit Maui County charities. Last year, the event raised $312,000.

File photo by Wendy Osher.

The bulk of the participants included visitor industry workers, non-profit agencies and business representatives. Many 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 top individual fundraiser was Mitch Mitchell representing Hale Makua who collected $5,862. The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa took top honors for the property bringing in the most with $22,211. HC&S was recognized as the business that raised the most at $7,824. Winning the award for non-profit raising was repeat-awardee Hale Makua with a collection of $25,446.

“We are proud to host this annual fundraising endeavor. The Charity Walk represents the visitor industry’s commitment to giving back to the community — all monies raised on Maui County, stays in Maui County,” said Carol Reimann, Executive Director of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association.

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“Our ability to provide for Maui’s non-profits – especially during these 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.

The Visitor Industry Charity Walk is a statewide event that takes place simultaneously on Maui, Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island. This year the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association also hosted a walk on Molokai. The Charity Walk is one of Hawaii’s largest single-day fundraisers with thousands of walkers. It typically raises more than $1 million 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 Visitor Industry Charity Walk is scheduled for May 14, 2011.

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