Petition wants new crayon named after Saipan’s azure waters

For the first time in its 132-year history, Crayola LLC announced it is retiring one of the colors from its 24-pack of crayons and plans to replace it with something “in the blue family.”

A group of color-passionate activists in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands have an idea for what that color should be called, and have launched a Change.org petition and fundraising campaign to encourage Crayola to “Make it Saipan Blue!”

“Everyone I’ve ever given a tour of Saipan says the same thing: ‘This is the bluest water I’ve ever seen!’” explains author, tour guide, and campaign captain Walt F.J. Goodridge.

“As a tribute to our many shades of blue, I reserved the saipanblue.com domain and toyed with the color idea for a while, but just recently decided to do something with it. So it was an amazing coincidence when I started researching for ideas and discovered Crayola’s plans to replace ‘Dandelion!’ It’s a once-in-a-132-year opportunity and a cool way to launch a campaign to share Saipan’s natural beauty with the rest of the world!”

Goodridge, a former civil engineer turned author and “passionpreneur” (passion-centered entrepreneur) relocated to Saipan in 2006, writes freelance for the Saipan Tribune and Marianas Variety newspapers, has launched several Saipan-specific websites, and has written several books about Saipan’s culture, business opportunities, role in World War II and recent history. He has been recognized by a CNMI Senate resolution for these and other “contributions to CNMI society.”

He believes that a successful “Make it Saipan Blue: campaign, starting with Northampton County, Pennsylvania-based Crayola, and ultimately persuading even paint manufacturers, car makers, and other companies to offer “Saipan Blue” as a color option, would get people talking about this little-known U.S. territory’s beauty, unique history, culture, and pivotal role (along with Tinian) in bringing World War II to an end.

Such attention, he believes, would result in long-term benefit to the Commonwealth, which suffered the loss of a profitable though controversial garment industry a few years ago. “As the awareness of and interest on Saipan increases,” Goodridge explains, “tourism could increase, jobs would return, the economy would improve, and many families’ dreams and goals would be achieved. And hopefully, one day petition supporters will take a trip out here and experience Saipan Blue for themselves!”

Crayola has announced it will invite fans to help make the final decision in May 2017. To add your voice to the Change.org petition to tell Crayola to “Make it Saipan Blue,” visit http://www.change.org/p/crayola-make-saipan-blue-the-next-new-color. Read more about it and why this campaign matters beyond the crayon color naming at www.saipanblue.com. Contact: support@saipanblue.com or 646-481-4238. (PR)

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