Kaua‘i United Way (KUW) held its first Golf Ball Drop Sunday, raising more than $35,000 and giving out thousands of dollars worth of prizes. The event was held in lieu of the organization’s annual golf tournament that fundraises monies for local nonprofits.
The drop happened at 8 a.m. on a portion of the driving range at The Ocean Course at Hokuala, owned by Timbers Kaua‘i. Nearly all of the 2,000 golf ball limit was sold out.
The Kauaʿi United Way Golf Tournament is a popular fundraising event every year. Since COVID-19 made it impossible to host the tournament this year, KUW thought outside to box to stage a golf event non-golfers could participate in.
Money raised went to local nonprofits that provide a variety of services in the community, that include feeding the hungry, helping the homeless, funding for drug treatment and activities for keiki.
“We’re thrilled with the support from our community of our 25 participating agencies,” KUW Acting Executive Director Lori Almarza stated in a press release. “No doubt this will become a new annual event and something we’ll look forward to every year.”
Jack Harter Helicopters donated services to conduct the drop. The top three prizes awarded were a $15,00 cash prize, won by Kim Silva; a staycation donated by Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i and Kipu Ranch Adventures awarded to Janice Bond; and a $500 gift card donated by Gather Federal Credit Union went to Kailee Mu.
Additionally, 10 donated prizes were awarded to ticket-holders with golf balls that fell closest to the hole.
“During a time when we are so challenged to raise money in support of member agencies, Kaua‘i really showed up to support this event,” Beth Tokioka, KUW’s board president stated in the release. “The need for these social services has never been greater, and we’re committed to supporting our partners and the thousands of people on Kaua‘i who are in need.”