2023 Walk Like MADD Hawaii – New Milestones!
We raised our fundraising target goal – twice! We had a record number of walkers registered – 564! Our Honorary Chairs, Governor and First Lady Josh and Jaime Green, walked with their family and a team from the governor’s office. Tess Rowland, MADD National President shared her story with all the attendees; all of the major TV stations covered the walk. “Kathy with a K” from 105.9 The Wave kept the energy up emceeing the program. Mahalo to our lead sponsors – First Hawaiian Bank, Dr. Thomas and Mi Kosasa, Par Hawaii/Hele, Hawaiian Electric, Queens Health Systems, and HMSA, and 11 additional sponsors who kicked off the fundraising so generously.
The refreshments were abundant – mahalo Waiakea Water, Armstrong Produce, Starbucks Coffee, Cookie Corner, CVS/Longs, and Big Island Candies. The course entertainment and cheerleaders were lively – mahalo Kukui Alumni Pep Band, Celtic Kula Bagpiper Band of Hawaii, and the youth from Farrington High School, Kapolei High School, Sacred Hearts Academy, and Youth Challenge Academy. Over 50 individuals volunteered to help set up, welcome walkers, serve refreshments, distribute prizes, run the programs, and pack and clean up. Mahalo to Donna Gutierrez for the Zumba warm-up and the Harrison sisters, Nicole and Julia, for documenting the event. And mahalo to over 50 companies who donated services, food and beverage, and travel-related prizes for our award winners. A special Mahalo to Hawaiian Airlines, Highgate and Outrigger Hotels for the grand prize staycations.
Many individuals, over 500, came together with one purpose – to help end the senseless preventable crimes that end in tragedy for too many Hawaii families. The half dozen or so victim families that were in attendance felt the collective support and commitment of the attendees. The Remember Me lawn signs and the Tribute Memorial Flags blowing in the ocean breeze by the MADD Memorial were tangible reminders of why we walk. The Victim Teams and Families in attendance this year included:
- Brittany Cass – Bold Like Britt
- Brian Paulette – Team Brian Paulette
- Kaulana Werner – Team Kaulana
- TJ Nilsen – Team TJ
- Waika Carvalho – Team Waika
- Azalia Park – Safe Ride Hawaii
- Travis Lau – Bill, Esther, and Melissa Lau
- Bette Chun
Funds raised through Walk Like MADD help further MADD Hawaii’s lifesaving mission and the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, which calls for high-visibility law enforcement, ignition interlocks or “in-car breathalyzers” for all convicted drunk drivers, support for the development of advanced technology and public support for these initiatives. As of September 29th, we have raised just over $121,000! We are extremely grateful for everyone’s support! You may donate at walklikemadd.org/hawaii until October 15, 2023.