Saipan Vegas Resort has become the first business to support the “Plant 500” initiative of the Lady Diane Torres Foundation, which aims to plant 500 trees throughout Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
Last Tuesday, Saipan Vegas Resort consultant Gus Noble joined first lady Diann Torres and other stakeholders to plant a total of 50 trees on Oleai Elementary School grounds, helped in part by OES teachers and its fifth-grade students.
“I met with our environment ambassadors, Miss Marianas [Sharon Sasamoto] and Miss Earth [Maria Lael Terlaje], in November and asked if I could challenge them to get our community on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota to plant 500 trees. If yes, my foundation will donate a dollar for every tree that is planted that will go to the Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance,” Torres said.
“When Saipan Vegas Resort heard about this initiative, they called us and said that they were going to join and help us meet [the goal] of planting 500 trees. On top of that, Saipan Vegas will also donate whatever amount we collate and donate to MINA. If we meet the 500 trees [target] and donate $500, Saipan Vegas will match the amount that we will donate to MINA,” she added.
Noble said that Saipan Vegas Resort has always been supportive of community initiatives, so when they heard about the tree planting initiative, they immediately wanted to be a part of it. “We can relate to this cause because…[our] Saipan Country Golf Course…was hit pretty hard by the last two super typhoons. …We planted trees to rehabilitate the golf course and thought maybe we could do more, like help our local schools. …This collaboration is a great example of business, nonprofit organizations, and government through CNMI Forestry coming together to help the island.”
Oleai Elementary School principal Jasylene Perico said this cause means a lot to the teachers and students of the school. “We lost so many trees since Soudelor and Yutu like huge big trees that provided shade for our students … this is a great opportunity for the students to learn not only how to plant but also the importance taking care of their environment,” she said.
According to Torres, 200 trees have already been planted and the goal to plant 500 by Feb. 14 is not farfetched. “Everybody is welcome to participate in this cause. It doesn’t have to be at your school, it can be done at your home, a friend’s house etc.,” she said.
For more information, click on the Lady Diann Torres Foundation on Facebook.