The people who help make the islands a great place for a Hawaii vacation also help those who live in the islands. The Visitor Industry Charity Walk raised over a million dollars this year to help local charities. The $1,155,100 is a record for the annual statewide event. Since it began in 1978, the Charity Walk has raised over $23 million for Hawaii non-profits that support people in need across the state.

Almost 11,000 walkers on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai and the Big Island of Hawaii took part in the fundraiser. The money goes to more than two hundred local charities. The chairperson for this year’s Charity Walk was Kelvin Bloom, president of Aston Hotels & Resorts. He said called it a “record-setting gesture” by people in the Hawaii visitor industry. “It’s an unprecedented outpouring of kindness and kokua that exemplifies our aloha spirit. A big mahalo to all of the thousands of folks who participated and gave so generously, especially considering the tough economic times,” Bloom said in a news release. The walk is a project of the Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association.

2,100 Maui walkers raised the most money this year with $470,000 – also a record for the island. Oahu had the most walkers with 6,500 while Molokai’s 50 walkers added $5,000 to the total. The walks were held on different days in May on the various islands. The Oahu walk was May 21; it began and ended at Ala Moana Beach Park, following a route through Waikiki and along the Ala Wai Canal.

Walkers were treated to local food and music on each island. Prizes at the Oahu finish line included restaurant certificates, hotel stays and a grand prize trip for two that includes airfare and hotel accommodations. If you live in Hawaii, where do you suppose that grand prize trip takes you? To Las Vegas, of course.

Photo provided by Visitor Industry Charity Walk.

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