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Travel // Tourism Matters
Mufi Hannemann

A Record-setting Visitor Walk

Kudos to everyone in Hawaii’s hospitality industry for your support of the annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk.

With donations continuing to be received, the 2012 walk has already exceeded last year’s record-breaking total, with $1,371,817 raised as of the May 19 Oahu event.

Since its inception in 1978, the Charity Walk has raised more than $24 million for Hawaii charities.

The money raised on an island stays on that island to benefit its nonprofit organizations.

Jerry Gibson, this year’s Charity Walk chairman and vice president and managing director for Hilton Hawaii, says:

“This is a great day for Hawaii’s nonprofits and the individuals who will benefit from this record-setting gesture by the people and friends of our 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.”

A total of 12,412 walkers on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Hawaii participated in the fundraiser that generates monies for more than 200 local charities.

Maui raised the most funds of any of the Islands for the second consecutive year with an impressive $530,123 – a record for the Island.

The Grand Wailea alone raised a whopping $100,001.

On Oahu, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort raised more than $125,000, which included two Charity Walk benefit concerts on its Great Lawn.

The number of walkers and money raised, by island, are as follows: Oahu, 6,300 walkers and $471,000; Maui, 2,500 walkers and $530,123; Kauai, 2,000 walkers and $151,551; Hawaii Island, 1,375 walkers and $194,266; Lanai, 107 walkers and $14,899; and Molokai, 130 walkers and $10,116.

This was a wonderful statement on how much the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association and our visitor industry care about helping our community.

So much was contributed by the hospitality industry and other members of our tourism community and, on behalf of the HLTA, and extend a heartfelt mahalo to each of you for your enthusiastic and generous support of the Visitor Industry Charity Walk.

MUFI’S VISITOR HEROES
Brendan Tsukiyama

Position: Director of Front Office Operations
Location: Westin Maui Resort & Spa

Brendan Tsukiyama has risen rapidly through the ranks at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa. What makes him special is his dedication, thoroughness and strong work ethic, which impress guests and fellow employees alike.

He has established strong relationships within his team and with other departments in the resort. During last year’s tsunami scare, Brendan worked for 26 hours to ensure the safety of guests and that his team members were prepared for the emergency. He led the Westin’s sustainability promotion program, is passionate about learning Hawaiian culture, and even helped an employee whose apartment was destroyed in a fire by finding temporary housing and furnishing supplies. Guests heap praise on Brendan, offering glowing comments about how he made their visits enjoyable through his professionalism and aloha.

He is as devoted to helping others as he is to his job. He can be found volunteering at the local lo’i patch in Honokohau Valley, the Relay for Life, Visitor Industry Charity Walk, highway cleanups and leading fundraising projects in his department. It’s no wonder he was recognized at the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association’s annual Na Po’e Pa’ahana awards program as a manager of the year.

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