Hyatt Regency Saipan presented a check worth $2,345 to the Autism Society of the CNMI in a brief ceremony yesterday.
Hotel executives led by general manager Nick Nishikawa handed to ASCNMI board president Elena Sutton the check donation, which represents the amount raised by Hyatt Regency Saipan during a benefit dinner hosted on Dec. 1, 2012, in celebration of the hotel's 32nd anniversary.
“It is our duty to support the community,” said Nishikawa. “We try our best to raise funds for charitable groups, especially since the economy is bad.”
Luis Villagomez, assistant manager for marketing communications, explained that Hyatt's anniversary served as a vehicle for them to raise funds under the international hotel brand's corporate responsibility platform called Hyatt Thrive.
Villagomez disclosed plans to hold the anniversary dinner as an annual fundraiser that will be called Corason Oro or “Heart of Gold,” to be hosted every Dec. 1. Different organizations will be chosen to benefit. The criteria for determining the beneficiary have yet to be determined.
Sutton expressed appreciation to Hyatt Regency Saipan for its efforts to raised much needed funds for the nonprofit group.
“We usually do that on our own. That's why it's very surprising and very touching that Hyatt was willing to raise money for us,” she told Saipan Tribune.
Sutton said they plan to use the donation for a self-advocacy summer camp that the ASCNMI plans to organize.
She said the two-week camp is part of their efforts to train individuals who have been diagnosed with autism to become more responsible and independent. Participants will also be educated on their rights so that they can also help their peers.
Among the camp's activities are those that focus on arts and crafts since part of self-advocacy is to discover and promote one's skills and talents.
The ASCNMI is dedicated to promoting, protecting, and advocating for the rights of individuals with autism or related spectrum disorders or other disabilities in the Commonwealth.