Lillian, guest services manager, has served the owners at Hanalei Bay Resort for more than three decades. In addition to creating experiences worth sharing at the resort, Lillian has been involved with the Visitors Industry Charity Walk for 10 years.
This year Hanalei Bay Resort raised more than $16,000 and Lillian received the “Golden Slippah” award for being the top fundraiser. A dozen associates and owners participated in the charity walk, including three associates from Makai Club Resort.
GPR: What is the Visitors Industry Charity Walk?
Lillian: The walk is an island-wide event put on by the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association. Each island hosts their own walk in May, with the proceeds supporting charities here on the islands.
GPR: How did Hanalei Bay Resort first get involved?
Lillian: I first got involved as a recruiter for the North Shore of Kauai. My job was to get other resorts and walkers involved. At first, Jim, Scott, and I were the only walkers from Hanalei Bay Resort. However, as the resort has completed our renovation and rebuilding projects, we’ve become much more involved.
Jim, one of our two general managers, was on the Charity Walk Steering Committee planning the event, and a number of our associates, owners, and board members joined us for the walk. Many more donated.
The front desk and our maintenance staff raised several thousand dollars by selling plate lunches. We sold Krispy Kreme donuts during our 60-day pre-arrival calls and delivered them to rooms on the first Monday morning of each visit. Peter Burwash International hosted a tennis tournament at the resort that raised more than $6,000. We also asked the food trucks that come to our pool parties to donate a portion of their proceeds.
Overall, Hanalei Bay Resort was the fifth highest contributor island wide. We are super proud considering we have just 55 associates yet raised more money than some resorts with 200 plus associates!
We’ve already started raising funds for next year’s walk. Geoff King, one of our board members, helped us develop vintage-style Hanalei Bay Resort t-shirts. We’re selling them to owners and guests on property and via the resort’s website. All profits will be donated to the charity walk.
GPR: What sort of charities benefited from the walk?
Lillian: The proceeds were donated to more than 57 local charities, including well-known organizations like the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii and the Special Olympics Hawaii.
GPR: Do you have any fundraising secrets you’d like to share?
Lillian: I carry my pledge form in my purse. When I go to the supermarket, soccer game, or wherever, and I see someone I know, I ask them if they would like to sponsor me. It doesn’t matter if it’s $10, $20 or a $1, everything helps. When we sell plate lunches, we make sure its ono (tasty) so every year people come back to support us.
We couldn’t be more proud of our associates! Learn about the other ways the Grand Pacific Resorts family is giving back at GrandPacificResorts.com/Giving-Back.