By Sarah Ruppenthal
As the saying goes, one day can make a difference. Case in point: The annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk, known locally as the Maui County Charity Walk.
Hosted by the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association, the annual single-day fundraising event draws thousands of participants and benefits dozens of local nonprofits. Held on the morning of Saturday, May 6, this year’s charity walk raised more than $1.2 million. That day, more than 1,700 walkers gathered at the War Memorial Sports Complex in Wailuku. Among those walkers were close to 30 Realtors Association of Maui (RAM) members who put their best foot forward for a good cause. Through their efforts and the generosity of several donors, “Team RAM” raised nearly $13,000 for the Realtors Association of Maui Community Foundation (RAMCF), exceeding an initial fundraising goal of $10,000.
Gina Duncan and Gloria Ezera of Fine Island Properties, LLC served as the team’s co-chairs. Both have been down this road before—literally. In 2019, Duncan and Ezera laced up their sneakers for the first time to raise money for RAMCF and have participated every year since. (Due to COVID-19, the charity walk was held virtually in 2020 and 2021 and transitioned back to an in-person event in 2022.)
“When I was president of RAM in 2019, we needed to find a way to raise needed funds for the RAM Community Foundation,” Duncan explained. “The board approved the RAM Community Foundation to participate in the Maui Charity Walk. We have continued this tradition since then. Gloria and I took on the co-chair position to hopefully raise more funds than any previous year and we reached that goal of $10,000 and then some… these funds are critical to the mission of the RAM Community Foundation, which helps Maui County through scholarships, school supplies, and with housing concerns.”
Realtors Association of Maui members laced up their sneakers for a good cause at this year’s Maui County Charity Walk, which was held at the War Memorial Sports Complex on Saturday, May 6.
Photo courtesy Realtors Association of Maui
Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2007, RAMCF makes a difference for Maui County residents through the RAMCF Presidential Scholarship Fund, the Wishing Well…for Maui Students program, and housing-related initiatives. The RAMCF Presidential Scholarship Fund awards academic scholarships every year to high school seniors and past scholarship recipients from Maui, Lāna’i and Moloka’i. The Wishing Well…for Maui Students program donates school supplies and other wished-for items to public schools countywide. In 2018, RAM added housing concerns as an objective of the RAMCF. Among other things, RAM members raised nearly $30,000 to help Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers purchase a brand-new playground for its facility in Wailuku; they also donated computers for students to use at the nonprofit’s Wailuku and Lahaina facilities.
To learn more about the Realtors Association of Maui Community Foundation and its programs, visit www.ramaui.com/foundation.
Realtor means a member of the National Association of Realtors. Do you know a Realtors Association of Maui member who should be recognized for their contributions to the community? If so, send your story idea to Sarah Ruppenthal at firstname.lastname@example.org.