Want to watch a movie, but the theater is still close and power is out? No problem.
Just wait for announcements from the Hoopaholics, which has hosted two movie nights and will have more.
The group, made up for sports and gym enthusiasts, launched Light Up The Night: Movie Night in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu, veering away from similar relief efforts being done on Saipan and Tinian, but with the same purpose—provide help to the community.
“It was a joint thoughts between myself, the Hoopaholics, and some of my other close friends. We all wanted to help out in any way we could and while most of us are already offering our manpower to either clear out debris or volunteer our time to help provide other services to the community, we wanted to do more,” said Hoopaholics member James Lee.
“A lot of great organizations such as Red Cross, Saipan Young Pros, and etc. are already doing just that, organizing an outreach group to assist those that are in need, providing meals, waters, clothing, and other necessary items. And so we didn’t want to be redundant with the efforts and take away any resources that were already going toward them. We decided to host a movie because we wanted to give some sense of normalcy, even though if it’s just for a few hours, especially for those family that have lost everything and those kids that have nothing to do since schools are out and there are no power or even a home to go back to,” he added.
The first movie night was held last Nov. 10 with about 400 people showing up to watch Avengers: Infinity War at the parking lot of the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville. The group, through the event’s sponsors, handed out free food and drinks during the show and did the same when they hosted another movie night at the Mt. Carmel Church’s field last No. 17.
“Parents came to us after the show and thanked us because it provided them some much needed break from the reality they have to face or go back to. It’s definitely a bitter sweet feeling, but when we see all the big smiles from the kids, that makes all the difference,” said Lee, whose group was founded in 2004 and has 17 members.
The Hoopaholics is planning to host two more movie nights, including one on Tinian.
“We’re looking at having one at the Airport Field and also a very big possibility of hosting one at our neighboring island Tinian. We didn’t forget about you guys! If all goes well, we will be flying down to Tinian on Dec. 1 and host an all-nighter movie session and then a possible local concert the following day. We’re working with KKMP, Tinian Mayor, and other government agencies to make it happen so stay tune for that,” Lee said.
The group would also like to thank the following for their support: Hoopaholics families and friends, The Marianas Project, MARPAC, Docomo Pacific, Triple J, Great Harvest, Mobil, JC Corp, Subway, Foremost, KKMP, Sorensen, and Monkey Biz Production.