At Kauai’s Table 53, a good meal ... for a good cause

“I challenge everybody else out there to do something of this nature."

Sheraton Poipu Table 53

POIPU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Once a month, a fortunate non-profit on Kauai receives a hefty donation from the Sheraton Kauai Resort and each contribution totals several thousand dollars.

The money comes from a unique program called Table 53.

"A lot of checks have been given out in six years," said Chip Bahouth, the resort's general manager.

He started the fundraiser in 2012 to help Kauai’s many charity organizations.

All money spent in a month at an ocean view table at the RumFire restaurant goes to a non-profit the hotel selects.

"The more that's dined here the more that's donated," Bahouth said. "In many cases they'll reach out to their constituents, people that donate and so forth, and they'll come and make an effort to come into the hotel."

The program's so popular non-profits line up to be considered and customers request the table.

In six years, Table 53 has raised and donated more than $235,000 to a variety of charity organizations.

Sheraton Kauai Resort hotel manager Katie Brenner said all the money stays on the Garden Isle.

"Even though we give to different organizations that may be a national organization, we make sure there's a connection to the Kauai chapter so that the funds go right back to here on the island," she said.

Some non-profits have been selected more than once.

The Kauai Independent Food Bank used its Table 53 money to feed Kauai children.

"Through our Keiki Cafe program we serve about 800 keiki per day, over 160,000 keiki during the school year," KIFB executive director Kelvin Moniz said.

The Table 53 effort has helped all kinds of charities.

Brenner said reactions run the gamut from cheers to tears.

“The first year or two it was kind of like, ‘Oh, great! We get some money.’ But now it’s like, ‘Oh, wow! We know what we’re gonna get because it’s Table 53,’” she said.

Bahouth first thought up the idea when he worked on Maui. He brought it with him when he moved to Kauai.

“I challenge everybody else out there to do something of this nature,” he said. “It’s pretty easy to do. It’s not that difficult and it really makes a difference in someone’s life.”

The Sheraton Kauai Resort has now added proceeds from a bungalow and cabana to the Table 53 program. That will mean even more money for Kauai charities.

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