Hawaii Visitor Industry Charity Walk draws sizable crowds, donations

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WAIKOLOA — Some folks ambled, others trotted and a few even whipped by on wheels Saturday morning.


WAIKOLOA — Some folks ambled, others trotted and a few even whipped by on wheels Saturday morning.

But regardless of how they trekked, each philanthropic walker, runner, and everyone in between who crossed the finish line at the Hawaii Visitor Industry Charity Walk accomplished two things — they spread aloha and made Hawaii Island a more generous place to live.

The state’s largest charity event was staged by the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association and welcomed all nonprofits throughout Hawaii. The Charity Walk has raised more than $30 million since 1978.

The Big Island’s portion of the event started and ended at Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa, where participants were treated to live entertainment and a sprawling culinary spread after finishing the 3.7-mile jaunt by whatever mode of transportation suited them best.

“We skate every year. We love Charity Walk,” said Professor Rolliarty, aka Madeline Reed, of the Waimea Wranglers Rough Rollers roller derby team. “We love to come out here and skate and show these people this thing we love to do to stay active and stay healthy.”

Reed’s teammate, Kelleen Lum, known on the track as Wonton Devastation, said this was her fourth year at the event. She said the feel-good nature of cruising through the streets of Waikoloa Resort for a host of worthy causes has yet to diminish.

“It’s always great to see all the people in all their different T-shirts walking for all these different groups,” she said. “That it’s benefiting the whole community is really awesome.”

While all were encouraged to travel at their own pace, there also was a competitive element to the walk, and Riana Peregrino was sporting her hardware at the garden reception after the race concluded.

The 15-year-old Honokaa student, who ran for Mauna Kea Beach Resort’s charity team, won second place in the 10-19 age division. But once the running was done, it wasn’t her success on her mind.

“All the food,” she said, smiling when asked what her favorite part of the day was. “The poke nachos.”

Riana’s younger sister, Christine, also participated Saturday, though the 11-year-old decided a leisurely stroll was more up her alley.

“I walked,” said Christine, adding she wasn’t lazy in her decision to take a walk, but rather her sister was crazy to sprint out of the gates. “My favorite part was the food, too.”


“And getting the exercise,” she added quickly.

Email Max Dible at mdible@westhawaiitoday.com.

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