Salvation Army annual Thanksgiving lunch gains participation of Torreses


First lady Diann Torres, front row second from left, and Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, front row third from left, pose for a photo with Salvation Army NMI chapter staff during the Chapter’s annual Thanksgiving lunch last Thursday. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

The Salvation Army NMI Chapter hosted its annual Thanksgiving lunch last Thursday with the participation of both Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and first lady Diann Torres—a first.

First lady Diann Torres has been a part of the Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving lunch, but this was the first year for Gov. Ralph DLG Torres to be invited to join in.

“Lady Diann has been doing this for quite a few years now and this year they invited me to join her,” he said.

Torres said it was a great feeling. “It was really nice to go there and spend some time with them and share the whole festivities, appreciating, and giving thanks.”

Torres and the first lady also made the first donations to the Salvation Army’s iconic red kettle. The Red Kettle season kicked off last Friday.

Last Thursday, Torres and his wife mingled with the Salvation Army’s staff and those who joined the Salvation Army for Thanksgiving, helping carve the turkey, and more.

According to Salvation Army NMI Chapter ministry leader Wayne Gillespie, “we were honored to have Gov. Torres and first lady Dianne join us for our annual community Thanksgiving lunch and for donating food for the event. We are also grateful to them for officially opening our Red Kettle season,” he said.

The Salvation Army NMI Chapter distributed 700 meals during Thanksgiving, including deliveries.

“Many meals were delivered to various locations around our island, including Kagman, Koblerville, Chalan Kanoa, and to several homebound persons,” he said.

Gillespie said thanks to all the volunteers and donors. “Our volunteers work especially hard to put on this event each year and a large number of them stay up all night cooking and making various preparations so that we can serve on time. I can’t say enough about how proud and grateful I am to them,” Gillespie said.

The donors of this year’s Thanksgiving lunch were the Torres couple, Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP), Bank of Hawaii, Dickerson and Quinn, Foremost, Saipan Community School, Tribe Marianas, Dolores Yamagishi, Herman’s Bakery, and several others who prefer to remain anonymous.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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