Maui Business

42nd Annual Charity Walk Returns to Help 100 Maui Nonprofits With Online Event

July 24, 2021, 8:22 AM HST
* Updated July 27, 8:01 AM
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Charity Walk Check Presentation, (L-R): Tetsuji Yamazaki, Maui County Charity Walk Chair and GM at The Sheraton Maui; Lisa Paulson, MHLA Executive Director; Maui Mayor Mike Victorino; Shane Kahalehau, KPOA. Photo Credit: file 2019 Pacific Dream Photography

The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association announced that after having to cancel the 2020 Charity Walk event due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event is back this year and completely online.

Instead of a physical event as has been held in the past, Maui County’s Charity Walk event will be launched on a digital platform that participants and donors can download on their mobile device. Walkers will have a two week “Walk Window” to track their steps and keep connected to the event.

From Aug. 30 to Sept. 12, online “walkers” will be able to see their progress on a virtual map, as well as take part in fun challenges and be eligible to win prizes, including a grand prize trip to Anaheim, CA.

For more information and to register and/or donate, text MAUI to 7177.

Chris Rabang is the General Manager of The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas. He will oversee the Maui Charity Walk again this year.

Returning as the first ever Maui County Charity Walk Chair two years running is Westin Nanea Ocean Villas General Manager Chris Rabang. “Our nonprofits really depend on these Charity Walk funds but last year the industry was shut down and there was a statewide decision to hold off on the event in 2020,” Rabang said. “This year we can go back to our industry giving our community a helping hand and we are very happy to do so again.”

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In 2019, Maui County raised $1.3 million for community nonprofits through the Charity Walk event; and for the last 10 years, Maui has raised more money than any other County statewide, and more money per capita since 1981.

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“Chris and I were both born and raised on Maui and giving back to the community means helping people we know, so it is a great pleasure to be able to do this once again,” said MHLA Executive Director Rod Antone. “During the pandemic the visitor industry gave as much as we could to our nonprofits before shutting down our operations, including handing out food, bedding, cleaning materials, masks and other resources, to our nonprofits, who in turn, used these donations to help the needy in our community.”

Charity Walk funds will benefit up to 100 local nonprofits in Maui County including MEO, the Maui Food Bank, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Hawaiʻi Special Olympic and many more.
 
The Charity Walk is one of the largest fundraising events in Hawaiʻi. Statewide, in 2019 over a $2.6 million was raised via walks held on Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi Island, Maui, Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi. Since the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association started hosting the event in 1980, Maui County has raised a cumulative total of $14.2 million, benefitting hundreds of nonprofit organizations on Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi. Most importantly, all the funds raised on Maui, remain in Maui County to benefit the local community and its residents.

MHLA is a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 to advocate for the Visitor Industry. The organization also provides educational opportunities via the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism and scholarships for UH Maui College students; and benefits the community via the annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk, Excellence in Education golf tournament and Kupuna Dinner.

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Nonprofit grant applications are still available for nonprofit organizations that want to participate and receive funding from the Charity Walk. They can be found online at www.charitywalkhawaii.org/maui . Additional information can be received by emailing [email protected] or calling the MHLA directly at 244-8625.

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