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Put Your Best Slippah Forward

Annual walk benefits island charities.

May 12, 2011
Trisha Smith

The visitor industry across the state celebrates over three decades of giving back to the local community with this yearly fundraiser that takes place on Saturday, May 14, on Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island, and then on O‘ahu on May 21. Moloka‘i held its annual stroll last week.

Sponsored by the Hawai‘i Hotel & Lodging Association (HHLA) and other industry partners, the statewide event gives everyone a chance to raise funds that benefit hundreds of local organizations each year. All monies raised stay on the island where the VICW took place.

The idea came to life back in 1974, when the Hawai‘i Hotel Association sponsored a “Superwalk” fundraiser to benefit one main charitable organization. Then in 1978, members voted to extend the reach of support offered by the walk’s “fund-raising capability,” and the Visitor Industry Charity Walk was born.

Article Photos

A community avenue. Walk to help build a better, healthier Hawai‘i for all of us during the 33rd Annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk on Maui this Saturday, May 14, beginning at 7 a.m. at War Memorial Soccer Field. Visit

“The charity walk is the visitor industry’s way of contributing to local charities while having fun,” said HHLA President Mufi Hannemann. “We strongly believe in giving back to the community, especially during these challenging times.”

According to the VICW Website, approximately 9,111 walkers raised $964,561 and helped over 220 of our local charities, with over 1,800 of those coming from Maui raising $351,004 for 70 organizations in Maui County. Over the years, HHLA’s annual event has grown to be one of the largest single-day fundraising events by a nonprofit organization in Hawai‘i, raising over $22 million since its inception 33 years ago.

Maui participants will make strides for their community this Saturday in Central Maui beginning at the War Memorial Soccer Field at 7 a.m. Registration is open from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m.

Themed “Put Your Best Slippah Forward,” this year’s VICW keeps participants moving for a 5-kilometer trek that starts and ends at the War Memorial Soccer Field. While meandering through town along Ka‘ahumanu Avenue and its side streets, walkers visit checkpoints at 11 aid stations providing refreshments and giveaways along the way.

Once crossing the finish line back at War Memorial, walkers can enjoy local fare from booths, games and live entertainment, featuring emcees Makani and Charly of 99.9 KISS FM, and Frank DeLima, Kulewa, Tihati Productions’ “Te Au Moana” and more. Keiki discover delights with face painting and inflated figurines, and can join fun clinics for juggling and balloon sculpting to fine-tune their carnival skills.

Door prizes include hotel stays, dining certificates as well as chances to win a round-trip vacation for two to Las Vegas, a weekend getaway to a neighbor isle or a “staycation” on Maui.

All walkers are required to have minimum donations of $35 for adults and $25 for individuals under 18 (regardless of age, including infants). An adult must accompany walkers under 12, and minors must have signed applications to partake.

The event is open to all—not just industry employees—so everyone has a chance to “Put Your Best Slippah Forward” with HHLA and friends this Saturday, May 14, during the 33rd Annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk.



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