By Dennis Oda |
May 18, 2019
| Updated on May 18, 2019 at 8:10 pm
The roughly 235 pairs of feet in 235 pairs of rubbah slippahs in the 1K Slippah Walk at Magic Island early Saturday morning could not top the Guinness world record of 1,587 slipper walkers held by a small Arizona town.
Organizers of the inaugural event to benefit the Wounded Warrior Ohana are undeterred, saying they will try again next year.
Organizers said they only had a one-week advance approval to waive the $15 entry fee for military participants and were thus unable to publicize the event at military bases until a week ago. Bases do not allow free publicity on paid events.
“While we didn’t set a world record, I do believe we set a state record for the most slipper walkers,” said Jesse Allen, director of the Wounded Warrior Ohana.
Vietnam veteran Denny Watts, director and executive board member of the non-profit, said: “The Wounded Warrior Ohana was set up because we didn’t have any veterans organizations that dealt with the whole family.”
The non-profit aids several hundred families each year, some with basic needs such as buying a new washer, car repairs, retrofitting bathrooms to make them handicap accessible, “to try to make their lives better,” Watts said.
But it also assists wounded vets and their families enjoy time together, with whale watching tours, catamaran rides, magic shows and luaus.
Dick Rankin, retired Army colonel and Vietnam vet who founded in 2014 Wounded Warrior Ohana, praised the many donors, including businesses who offer activities as well monetary donations from others. One hundred percent of the proceeds donated to Wounded Warrior Ohana, goes to those in need, Rankin said, and it all stays on the island.