The Charity Walk, held May 12, 2018, started almost 40 years ago on Oahu, and today takes place on every major island over a three-week period in May. Participants encourage their friends and family to “sponsor” their walk with cash donations. Last year alone more than $2 million was raised throughout the state — the most in the event’s history — bene tting some 50 di erent organizations, with all money raised on Hawai`i Island being earmarked for local use.
“It takes an army to put on this kind of event and we are very fortunate that there are so many people who are willing and able to donate their time to put this event on,” says Steve Yannarell, General Manager of Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, the host hotel of Charity Walk on Hawai`i Island. “Planning starts in January with committee meetings, kick off events, sponsor meet- ings, and so forth. It also requires a commitment from Waikoloa Land Company to allow these events that are so important to the community to take place at the resort. A big mahalo needs to be given for that.”
More than 3,000 people are expected to participate this year, with many di erent ways to get involved. “This is a community event that is meant to bene t family, friends, and neighbors on Hawai`i Island,” Yannarell says. “By including walkers, runners and making it family friendly, it provides the opportunity to have so many participate. This year we will also have more than 15 food booths, with all the hotels along the Kohala Coast participating and restaurants from the Queens’ MarketPlace, Kings’ Shops, and the Shops at Mauna Lani.”
The majority of the Charity Walk participants will be local, how- ever most hotels put information in their lobbies the week prior to the event encouraging guests to participate.