Every year we are astonished by the amount of money raised for charity by the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association's annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk.
The 35th edition this year again broke records and, to be honest, we didn't see how last year's total could be surpassed. But it was not only topped - this year's walk beat last year's by 36 percent.
To put some actual numbers on those totals - last year $613,025 was raised. This year's total was $835,557 - up a mere $222,532.
The top individual fundraiser was Betsy Scheller of Na Hoaloha. She exemplified the spirit of that organization's "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" mission by raising $15,165. She was followed closely by Peter Tierney of SPCA with $13,692 and Mitch Mitchell of Hale Makua with $12,765.
The Grand Wailea paced properties with $63,530; Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation led nonprofits with $65,857; and Bank of Hawaii ranked No. 1 among businesses with $22,773.
The Maui News story about the Charity Walk's reception in which the final totals were announced said Maui raised more money than any other island in Hawaii. Statewide, $1.6 million was raised in Visitor Industry Charity Walks.
The story said the walks have raised more than $7.5 million in Maui County since they began in 1980 and all of the money stays here.
It is hard to imagine how any of our nonprofits could operate without this infusion of funds from the visitor industry. Our congratulations on another outstanding effort and our thanks for what you do for Maui County.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.