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Thursday, April 17, 2014

2014 Marianas March Against Cancer set for May 2

The 2014 Marianas March Against Cancer organizing committee has begun preparations for the largest annual cancer fundraising event in the Northern Mariana Islands. The 2014 MMAC will be held on May 2-3 at the Hopwood Junior High School field in Chalan Piao.

The Marianas March Against Cancer is the largest fundraising activity and signature fundraising event of the Commonwealth Cancer Association, a volunteer-led non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to promoting cancer awareness and prevention, providing patient support services, and serving as the liaison and advocate for cancer issues in the CNMI. Thousands of people participate in the MMAC, including teams representing families, businesses, non-profit organizations, schools, and government agencies.

"We raised a record amount last year and we hope to match or exceed that this year. With this being the 12th year of the MMAC, we are confident that the community will come out in full force in support of the battle against cancer," said 2014 overall committee chair Manny Borja.

The 12-hour event will feature teams competing in four categories: Pulan (Families), Napu (Schools), Puti’un (Businesses) and Atdao (Non-Profit/Government Agencies).

"It’s possible for there to be a combination of any two categories such as a school and a business, a school and a non-profit organization, a business and a non-profit organization, etc. The registration fee will be determined by the category or combination of categories each team falls under," said Borja.

Teams will be competing to win best tent, best baton, most money raised in each category, most luminaries sold, most spirit and most laps.

The MMAC is also a time for the community to pay their respects to all those who have been directly affected by cancer. All cancer survivors and those currently undergoing cancer treatment are invited to the annual survivor dinner held in their honor. Each survivor will be treated to a complimentary dinner buffet and will be awarded a unique medallion and T-shirt commemorating their fight against cancer.

"This is a very important part of the MMAC. Every one of us knows someone who has been affected by cancer and the survivor ceremony is our chance to celebrate their perseverance and strength," said Borja.

To participate in the survivor dinner or for more information contact survivor committee chair Nora Sablan at 285-5124 or email norasablan@gmail.com.

In addition, a luminary ceremony will be held in honor and in memory of loved ones who have survived cancer, are currently undergoing treatment, or have lost the fight against this deadly affliction. Candles will be lit inside a white bag with each one bearing the name of someone who has been touched by cancer. Each luminary is only $5 and can be purchased from any team or at the MMAC event itself. For more information contact luminary committee chairs Jenypy Sambile at 483-4739 or email jenypysambile@gmail.com or Krizia Mendoza at mariakrizia@gmail.com.

"We are inviting all families, businesses, schools, non-profit organizations and government agencies to participate as teams. We will hold our next team meeting on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 5:30pm at the CCA conference room on Middle Road in Gualo Rai (by NMPASI). All interested members of the community are urged to join this meeting where important information will be discussed," said Borja. For details on forming a team contact team recruitment committee chairs Catherine Attao-Toves at 285-1828 or Tara T. White and Betty Kosam at mmacteams@gmail.com.

"We are also seeking the support of all businesses, individuals and organizations who wish to support the 2014 MMAC by donating funds, services, or raffle items. We have a few sponsorship levels available including title sponsorship ($3,000+), major sponsorship ($1,000-$2,999) or supporting sponsorship ($1-$999). We welcome all donations so please contact MMAC sponsorship committee chair Nola Hix 989-6652 or email nola.hix@gmail.com for more information," said Borja.

"Live entertainment is another big part of the MMAC so we invite all musicians, bands, dancers and other performers to show their support for the fight against cancer by performing live at the 2014 MMAC. We have limited slots available on a first-come, first-served basis so please contact MMAC entertainment committee chairs L.J. Castro or Celia Mercado at 483-1027 or email ljmamis@gmail.com," said Borja.

The 2014 MMAC committee members include Borja (overall chair); David Rosario (accounting and registration); L.J. Castro and Celia Mercado (entertainment); Jenypy Sambile and Krizia Mendoza (luminary); Rob Travilla and Christopher A. Concepcion (public relations); Gloriana Teuira (logistics); Nola Hix (sponsorship); Nora Sablan (survivors); Catherine Attao-Toves, Tara T. White and Betty Kosam (team recruitment); Ashley Benavente and Krizia Mendoza (T-shirts).

For more information contact Borja at 989-1987 or email emanuel.borja@gmail.com or visit www.ccamarianas.org. (CCA)

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