Tinian fundraiser kicks off with $27K worth of donations

Posted on Jun 04 2019

The Tan family—Jerry, right, Tania, second right, and Lydia, third right—presents the ceremonial check to Friends of San Jose Church chair Kimberlyn King-Hinds, third left, vice chair Richard Lazaro, left, and San Jose Parish Priest Father Rey Rosal during the launching of the “Rebuilding Tinian Together” fundraising drive last Friday at the Hibiscus Hall of the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan. (Contributed Photo)

The “Rebuilding Tinian Together” fundraising drive that the Tan Siu Lin Foundation launched last weekend was immediately boosted by several donations amounting to a total of $27,546.

The donations were handed over to Friends of San Jose Church officials Kimberly King-Hinds and Richard Lazaro and San Jose Parish Priest Fr. Rey Rosal last Friday at the Hibiscus Hall of the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan during the birthday celebration of TanHoldings chief executive officer Jerry Tan.

The money will be used to rebuild the San Jose Social Hall, which will serve as a temporary place of worship for the parish and venue for other community events on Tinian, while the church that was damaged by Super Typhoon Yutu is being demolished and rebuilt.

“The Friends of San Jose Church and the people of Tinian are deeply grateful to the Tan Siu Lin Foundation and the Tan family, and all those coming to our aid. For Jerry to make our cause the focus of what should be a celebratory and personal day for him is a testament to the type of person he is—very giving,” said King-Hinds. “We’re overwhelmed with the support we received tonight. We were so touched with how many people pitched in and show their generosity to the people of Tinia.”

Lazaro said the donations were unexpected. “We thought we’re just here to celebrate with Jerry on his birthday. It’s his birthday, but it seemed it’s our birthday or it’s Christmas Day already because of all the ‘gifts’ we received from all of you,” he said.

Last Friday, Tan received a gift from TanHoldings executives and his friends and he then donated the $2,908 cash gift to the Friends of San Jose Church, adding $8,888 of his personal money to the kitty. He also announced that George Chiu of Guam has donated $2,000 to the cause, while his daughter, Tania, gave the Tinian fundraiser $10,000—the biggest donation from an individual from Saipan so far.

“This birthday celebration is made more special by the people who stepped in to help the people of Tinian. I am especially proud to have my daughter with us tonight to personally show her support to the Friends of San Jose Church and donate $10,000, which came from her graduation gifts,” the TanHoldings CEO said. Tania graduated as valedictorian at Saipan International School.

Tan advocated for the community to support the “Rebuilding Tinian Together” fundraiser, which is similar to the Project Ayuda that the TSL Foundation, the charitable arm of TanHoldings Corp., launched after Saipan was hit by Typhoon Soudelor in 2015. The foundation will donate T-shirts bearing the “Rebuilding Tinian Together” logo and sell them, with 100 percent of the sales to be donated to the Friends of San Jose Church. Each shirt costs $15 and the foundation initially targets to raise $15,000 from the project. Last Friday, Tan’s siblings already bought $3,750 worth of shirts and the sales were also handed over to the Friends of San Jose Church.

“With this ‘Rebuilding Tinian Together’ fundraising drive, the Tan Siu Lin Foundation hopes to inspire others to give and help the island continue its recovery from Super Typhoon Yutu,” TSL Foundation executive director Merlie Tolentino said.

King-Hinds said that, with the latest donation they received and the $100,000 that the TSL Foundation earlier gave them, they are on their way to signing a contract to start the rebuilding of the San Jose Social Hall. The project would cost between $300,000 and $500,000, while the construction of the new and concrete church has been estimated at $1.7 million.

“Next week, we will be sitting down to finalize plans, look into the layout of the social hall. Our goal is to have a finished structure by December. It’s an aggressive goal, but with the typhoon season coming up and the poor condition of the church’s structure, we need to work on the project as soon as possible and we thank all the people who are helping us do that,” King-Hinds said. (PR)

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