About Town 09-16-18

  • Youth for Christ USA Inc., receives the largest HLTA grant from the 2018 Visitor Industry Charity Walk. From left: 2018 Charity Walk statewide chair Glenn Vergara, Youth for Christ USA Campus directors Doug Koehn and Stevie Koehn, and HLTA president & CEO Mufi Hannemann.

HLTA donates to Oahu nonprofits

The Hawaii Lodging &Tourism Association and its nonprofit arm, the Hawaii Hotel Industry Foundation (HHIF) distributed funds Thursday to 135 nonprofit organizations based on Oahu at a check presentation ceremony held at Roy’s Eating House 1849 in Waikiki.

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The money was raised during May’s 40th annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk, which generated a record $2.6 million statewide to benefit local charities. An estimated 14,000 walkers participated in the festivities, held on consecutive Saturdays in May throughout the islands. Thanks to the leadership of Glenn Vergara, HLTA chairperson-elect, Oahu set a new record by raising $507,800 in 2018.

The recipients were selected by a hospitality industry committee based on the success of their programs, how much money the organizations were able to raise for the Charity Walk, and their participation in the event. Oahu organizations were eligible to receive extra funds based on their grant applications. Money raised on each island stays on that island to benefit charitable groups.

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“The Visitor Industry Charity Walk continues to be a wonderful event that enables the hospitality industry to reciprocate the support it receives from the community,” said HLTA president and CEO Mufi Hannemann. “We topped last year’s record by raising $2.6 million in 2018, all of which will be shared with organizations that are meeting vital needs in our state.”

This year, a total of 352 local charities across the islands received funding from the Visitor Industry Charity Walk. Since its inception, the walk has raised more than $34.5 million and remains the largest single-day fundraiser in the state.