2018 MMAC kicks off


The Marianas March Against Cancer will be held on May 11-12 at the Hopwood Middle School. This year’s MMAC Committee is off to a rolling start in welcoming families, businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies to join the fight against cancer in the CNMI.

The MMAC traces its origins back to 1999 when a bold group of volunteers took the initiative to conduct the first ever American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” on Saipan with 32 teams. In December 2002, the core group saw the need to prioritize funding for the local community. This led to the first MMAC event in May 2003 and the creation of the Commonwealth Cancer Association.

“MMAC is always such a special event that truly brings the entire community together. Perpetuating the theme of ‘One Community. One Journey,’ every single dollar raised goes directly to supporting a loved one in the CNMI battling cancer,” said Bobby Cruz, co-chair of the 2018 MMAC Committee.

For almost 20 years, MMAC has helped the CNMI community raise funds to support CCA’s mission to help families, friends, and loved ones who are battling cancer.

“What started out as a grassroots campaign by a few individuals grew into an event supported by our island community. Last year, MMAC drew 2,000 people and raised over $200,000 in cash and in-kind donations. These funds go a long way to helping our loved ones fight cancer. It truly is a community effort, and the CCA is truly grateful for the families, friends, and our survivors who come out to support each other and provide inspiration on this journey together,” said Juan L. Babauta, executive director of the Commonwealth Cancer Association.

Since 2004, members from all sectors of our community volunteer in the MMAC Committee to organize the event.

The 2018 MMAC Committee includes the following subcommittees:

• Team Recruitment, chaired by Catherine Attao-Toves and Roque Indalecio;

• Logistics, chaired by Frank Borja, Janine Nogis, and Juan L. Babauta;

• Accounting, chaired by Manny Borja, Ashley Benavente, and Janine Nogis;

• Luminaries, chaired by Kaelani Demapan and Jenypy Sambile;

• Public Relations, chaired by Kevin Bautista, Juan L. Babauta, Jackie Jucutan, and James Jucutan;

• Activities, chaired by Catherine Attao-Toves and Carleen Desebel;

• Awards and Judging, chaired by Catherine Attao-Toves, Annette Pladevega, and Carleen Desebel;

• Survivors, chaired by Jean Rabauliman, Sharina Clark, Jeaniffer Cubangbang, and Shelane Borja.

• Sponsorship, chaired by Monique Sablan and Nola His;

• T-shirt, chaired by Maria Krizia Mendoza and Annette Pladevega; and

• Entertainment, chaired by Carol Hosono, Patricia Kaipat, Prunella Pellegrino, and James Jucutan.

Biweekly meetings with team captains have already started since mid-January, and teams have already started fundraising for the event.

“In the coming weeks, teams will be holding their various fundraising events to engage with the community and raise funds toward our collective goal. We encourage members of the community to support the teams, or even create one, because this truly is for a great cause,” said 2018 MMAC Committee co-chair Carline Sablan.

For 2018 MMAC Committee co-chair Bobby Cruz, MMAC is more than just volunteering for a great cause.

“I continue to participate in this, because this work really matters for us on the committee and for the CNMI. Battling this disease is tough, but we can beat cancer together by supporting every single person who goes through this journey. What makes the CNMI truly unique is that we’re all interconnected, and MMAC reminds us that we’re never alone in our collective fight against cancer. That night brings our community together to reflect on how serious this disease is and to be inspired by stories of perseverance. We encourage everyone in our community to join the fight.”

For more information or to sign up your team for the 2018 Marianas March Against Cancer, email (PR)

Press Release
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