DelaCruz wins Rotary grand prize


As expected, the Rotary Club of Saipan’s 2017 Las Vegas Night fundraiser at the Royal Taga Hall drew hundreds to the Saipan World Resort, hoping to take home the grand raffle prize—a choice between a brand-new 2018 Mazda 3 car or $10,000 cash.

That victory eventually went to Sophia DelaCruz, who herself was not present at the venue.

In an online interview, DelaCruz said she is still in disbelief. “I did not expect to win anything. Aside from excitement, it’s a nice and happy feeling,” she said.

Since 2014, DelaCruz has bought one booklet a year to support the Rotary Club’s community outreach projects.

The other winners were Deru Tudela, who took home $500; Wu Yan Ming, who took home $1,000; Vincent Lizama, who took home $2,000; and PBI, who took home $3,000.

The 2017 Las Vegas Night completely sold out its tickets. A total of 10,000 tickets were printed. By Saturday night, all tickets were sold, raising a gross of approximately $50,000 in tickets alone.

According to Saipan Rotary Club president-elect Greg Borja, the event brought out a good flow of people, comparable to the size of the crowd last year.

With the addition of the game of baccarat, Borja said they were able to get tourists to participate.

Another improvements this year was that all the food and beverages sold at the event were moved outside the venue to accommodate more people.

With the new setup, it allowed the crowd to transition more smoothly and it was less congested compared to last year.

The Las Vegas Night fundraiser offered many gambling favorites like blackjack, Texas hold em’ poker, and bingo.

By 8pm, gaming tables were completely packed and the Taga Hall was almost completely full. The bingo area was also completely occupied as early as 7:30pm.

By 11pm, the Taga Hall was overflowing with people and many were required to await the final drawing outside the venue.

According to one new participant, Joe Guzman, he wasn’t expecting such a big crowd. He said that this was his first year to attend. He said he wanted to test his luck while also donating to a good cause. “I didn’t win anything but at least my money didn’t completely go to waste,” he said.

The Rotary Club will use the proceeds to fund its various community projects. A portion of the funds will also support victims of the Las Vegas shooting.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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