Kanoa Resort had its first-ever Christmas tree lighting ceremony last Saturday that was accompanied by a cappella singing and ukulele playing at the Susupe landmark’s lobby.
Hotel general manager Martin Jambor thanked Kanoa Resort staff for making the Christmas tree lighting possible.
“We decided to go full blast [in celebrating Christmas] this year. They’ve been working extra hard these past few days. Thank you very much [to our staff],” he said.
The MHS glee club Rhythm ‘N Harmony and the Saipan Community School Ukulele Band both performed at the event.
The MHS glee club sang four songs—Hark the Herald Angels Sings, Mary Did You Know? Sleigh Ride, and White Winter—while the SCS ukulele band strummed White Christmas, Jingle Bells, Feliz Navidad, and the Hawaiian Christmas classic Male Kaliki Make.
Glenn Policare, Kanoa Resort operations director, said Kanoa Resort had always celebrated the holidays in years past, but Jambor and the rest of the hotel staff really wanted to do something special for the community, their guests and employee this year.
“This year was different as we wanted to celebrate, whereas last year we were still very much in recovery mode,” he said.
The tree lighting was also intended to highlight Kanoa Resort’s participation in the Toys for Tots program, where toys are donated by the community for distribution this holiday season. Kanoa Resort is teaming up with the Saipan Young Professionals and the U.S. Marine Corps for this.
“Our team got together and put this event together to celebrate the coming holiday season and to highlight our Toys for Tots drive,” Policare said.
A number of children joined a raffle last Saturday, where an unwrapped toy gave them a raffle ticket for a chance to get a prize from Toys for Tots.
As far as the Christmas tree lighting went, Policare admitted to getting a bit teary-eyed. “When I saw all the people in the lobby and then heard them counting down from 10, I got chicken skin,” said Policare. “Our team went through a fairly intense rehearsal to make sure we got the timing just right. When the glee club hit the first note, my heart smiled.”
“This was our inaugural event and we could not have been happier with the turnout. Thank you for all of our performers, the community for attending and to all the team who put this together,” he added.