Organizers of this year’s Liberation Day Festival want the festivities to be a moment of respite and to celebrate the many tremendous strides that have been made so far.
The Tan Siu Lin Foundation, the charitable arm of TanHoldings Corp., is helping make that happen with a $15,000 donation last Wednesday at the Saipan Mayor’s Office in Oleai, making the foundation a platinum sponsor.
“When things get tough, when people need help, it’s time to step up,” said TanHoldings chief executive officer Jerry Tan, who handed over the ceremonial check to Liberation Day Planning Committee chair Joe Ayuyu Jr.
The committee said the donation is the biggest assistance it has received so far.
This year, the Liberation Day festivities will run from June 27 to July 6 at the Garapan Fishing Base.
“Months after Super Typhoon Yutu, there were community events that we’re either canceled or rescheduled. People then started asking if we will have the Liberation Day festivities,” Ayuyu said.
“We must, because our people deserve a celebration after working together to recover and rebuild from Yutu. This year, we would want the community to enjoy a more exciting and fun festivities,” he added.
Present at the donation ceremony last Wednesday were other members and officials of the 2019 Liberation Day Planning Committee, TSL Foundation executive director Merlie Tolentino, TanHoldings vice president (for Corporate HR) Catherine Attao-Toves, and TanHoldings Community Relations director Carli Sablan.
“The Tan Siu Lin Foundation recognizes that it’s very challenging for the Liberation Day Planning Committee to put up an event and find sponsors after Super Typhoon Yutu, so we are here to help,” Tolentino said.
“It is through the generosity of business leaders like Jerry Tan and the Tan Siu Lin Foundation that we continue to stand here after going through one of the strongest typhoons to hit our islands,” Ayuyu said.
“We would like to thank TanHoldings and the Tan Siu Lin Foundation for their continued support and commitment to the Liberation Day festivities,” said Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council chair Antonia Manibusan Tudela, who is the acting Saipan mayor.
One of the highlights of the 73rd Liberation Day festivities is the welcoming of World War II veteran Burke Waldron, a member of the Naval Ground Force of the Pacific that invaded the Makin Islands in Kiribati and Saipan in 1944. The 95-year-old Waldron is based in Washington and will be joining not only the Liberation Day celebration, but also the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Saipan.
Another feature is the 2019 Miss CNMI Liberation Day Royal Court competition. Pernalyn Camacho, Lea Salalila, Rhe’ann Tudela, Angel Deleon Guerrero, Kiara Nekaifes, Nadine Kapileo, and Regiene Babauta will vie for the 2019 Miss CNMI Liberation Queen title.
There will be games at the Garapan Fishing Base, while application forms for the parade and float competitions will soon be released. Local entertainers will also perform during the 10-day celebration. (PR)