Hyatt Regency Saipan kicked off the holiday season last Sunday with its 39th anniversary Christmas tree lighting ceremony, underscoring the idea that the holiday is the season of giving.
“Every year, on Dec. 1, Hyatt holds a ceremonial Christmas tree lighting event and people come here,” Hyatt general manager Nick Ishikawa said. “We also always invite children, especially the Make-A-Wish Foundation, to celebrate together.”
Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children who have critical illnesses. Hyatt has been helping make some of those wishes come true for what are called “Wish Kids” in Guam and the CNMI.
“The Hyatt golf tournament that we do every year is a charity to raise funds to give to our beneficiaries, the main one being the Make A Wish Foundation [Guam and CNMI]. We invite the [Make-A-Wish] children to switch on the Christmas tree because they enjoy it, they like it,” Ishikawa added.
This year, three Wish Kids came to celebrate with the Hyatt.
“We are able to have the fundraisers for Make-A-Wish Guam and CNMI every year through the Hyatt,” Make-A-Wish Foundation board member Kanae Quinn said. “They have a beautiful, huge golf tournament for us every year. Last year, they raised $20,000 for us, which is a huge thing.”
Quinn added that the foundation does not receive any type of government donations, and all donations are from private giving, so they are thankful that the Hyatt, through its golf tournament, has been helping raise funds that allow them to make some wishes come true, be it a trip to Disneyland or a video game set.
Aside from Make-A-Wish, representatives of the U.S. Marines were also at the ceremony for the Toys for Tots Drive. Hyatt welcomes donations of new and/or unwrapped gifts for the drive, to be distributed to children on Saipan.
Representatives of the Saipan Young Professionals, and Guma Esperanza were also at this year’s tree-lighting.
December is a festive season for the hotel industry. Ishikawa said the Hyatt will be having all kinds of events, such as its “End of the Year” party, to make sure everybody can enjoy the holiday.
“Personally, I like and enjoy the month of December. It is festive and [puts you in a] holiday mood where everybody gets a present or chooses a present to give,” Ishikawa added.
When asked what his wish is for this year, Ishikawa said, “Today, Dec. 1, marks the beginning of the 39th year since the Hyatt opened. According to the lease contract, we have two more years. I wish we just have many more years to celebrate together with the community.”
For more information about Hyatt’s activities for the season, call 1 (670) 234-1234 Ext. 26.