Group behind Earhart memorial seeks assistance from Rotary Club

Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Inc. president Rep. Donald Barcinas (R-Saipan) presents the group’s project during the weekly Rotary Club of Saipan meeting yesterday. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

The Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Committee Inc. presented their current project to the Rotary Club of Saipan yesterday in hopes that they could assist in the construction of an 18-foot tall Amelia Earhart monument.

Yesterday, its president, Rep. Donald Barcinas (R-Saipan), said that the committee was established in February 2017, but was incorporated in September.

The committee is passionate about building a memorial that would honor the memory of the first aviatrix to circumnavigate the earth that allegedly survived World War II and lived out her days on Saipan.

The group is looking for funding of a little over $200,000 to complete the monument. The committee has already submitted a letter to the governor, a request for funding to the Legislature, a request for funding to the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation, and will also be meeting with the Marianas Visitors Authority committee to discuss assistance for the project.

“We were originally looking for a budget of $150,000 but Marianas Visitors Authority chair for destination enhancement wanted us to make the statue bigger…the original proposed statue was 12 feet and they wanted bigger so we need to get a quotation for an 18-foot statue,” said Barcinas.

According to Barcinas, he is now also looking at seeking assistance from the local Rotary Club and other possible resources.

Barcinas said it would serve as good exposure for the Commonwealth because there have been so many theories concocted to answer the long unanswered question; “what happened to Amelia Earhart?” and the committee strongly believes that the truth was Earhart contracted a disease before dying on Saipan.

The monument is intended to lure in more tourists thus expanding the CNMI economy.

Barcinas said even if there may be some individuals out there who are still skeptical about he Earhart theory, the monument is not to sway their beliefs but just to honor the fact that Saipan is a part of Earhart’s journey around the world.

The group hopes to complete the Amelia Earhart monument project this year.

Kimberly Bautista Bautista
Kimberly Bautista is the youngest in the stable of Saipan Tribune reporters. She has covered a wide range of beats, including the community, housing, crime, and education, for the Saipan Tribune.

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