East Hawaii News

Charity Walk Decides Which Mayor Gets Coveted Koa Slippah

May 9, 2014, 12:25 PM HST
* Updated May 9, 5:44 PM
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Mayor Billy Kenoi is taking on the state’s other mayors in the annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk.

The event held by the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association has raised more than $26 million for charity since its inception in 1978.

According to event organizers, statewide last year more than 14,500 walkers “put their best slippah forward” to raise about $1.7 million for charity.

The monies raised on each island stay on that island.

Last year, 50 Big Island charities benefited from the more than $228,000 in donations raised by walkers at the Waikoloa Beach Resort.

Walkers in last year's event included those of the four-footed variety.

Walkers in last year’s event included those of the four-footed variety.

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The mayor of the island with the largest percentage growth over the previous year wins bragging rights and a handcrafted koa wood slipper.

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Kenoi said the event is the epitome of aloha spirit.

“I’m proud of the hard working men and women of our visitor industry,” Kenoi said.

“Our community knows how important it is to care for our family, friends, and neighbors that need it the most,” he said. “That’s one of the values that makes Hawai‘i such a special place to live.”

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This year the walks began May 3 on Lanai and Molokai, and continue Saturday on the Big Island and Maui. The events on Oahu and Kauai are scheduled for May 17.

Saturday’s Big Island walk will be about three miles long and begin at the Seagull School at the Mauna Lani Resort. Runners will start at 6:45 a.m. and walkers at 7.

See here for more information on the event.

Refreshments provided for participants at the 2013 charity walk were not the standard race fare.

Refreshments provided for participants in the 2013 charity walk — and those providing them — were not of the standard race fare.

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