We're going for the "prom look" in that picture. Did we succeed?
Oh man. Our first anniversary fundraiser was unbelievably successful! We expected about 70 people at the fundraiser. Yeah right. Over 170 showed up.
A lot of the credit goes to the young lady posing with me in the picture above. Yoshimi Yanagisawa, the Food & Beverage manager at Aqua Resort Club, did an outstanding job of putting together this banquet. They took care of all the food and all of the reservations and even paid for advertisements in local media.
Aqua Resort Club and Yoshimi-san deserve a huge thank you from all of us. I look forward to having our second anniversary fundraiser banquet at their hotel...in fact, I'm already thinking about my Year in Review video. I'm thinking, "Episode Two: Attack of the Micronesia Challenge."
Daisie Mae Camacho, Kyle Kaipat, and Dennis Cabrera from Rep. Cinta Kaipat's Office also deserve a lot of thanks. They spent most of the banquet checking everyone in, selling raffle tickets, and handing out buttons and stickers.
The fundraiser would have never happened without Daisie. In fact, a lot of Beautify CNMI's success can be contributed to her behind-the-scenes work. She's the one sending invitations, calling other offices, drafting letters, setting up meetings, and making sure that we're all doing what we're supposed to be doing.
Now, as for the actual fundraising part of the fundraiser, not counting the people that missed the event and have pledged to donate, we raised $2901. The big donors were Aqua Resort Club with a $1200 donation, and Bank of Guam and Nancy Rushmer with $500 donations each.
It is not too late to add to our total. If you would like to donate you can call me at 483-1078 or send me an email at angelovillagomez at gmail dot com. You can also donate using a credit card by visiting www.beautifycnmi.com.
Some of my blogger friends beat me in posting pictures. Bev, Steve, Bree, Mylene and Marites already have pictures up. I have a few, which I will post here. Gus took pictures of everyone as they arrived. I'll get those online soon.
So, I was the event emcee. I also came up with the program schedule. I tried to keep it short and simple. I gave myself 5 minutes, Cinta 15, Jesse 5, and Frank Rabauliman of DEQ 5. I also allotted 10 minutes for the Year in Review video and 20 minutes for the awards and donation check presentations.
I figured that we'd give everyone a chance to get settled, start around 8, knock out the program in under an hour, then I'd have plenty of time to eat, drink, and be stupid.
It wasn't to be. Instead of one hour, the program lasted two hours. Which means I didn't get to eat or drink. I was only able to be stupid. Dang it!
Well, with the exception of not getting to eat, it turned out really well. But still, I wish I had gotten to eat!
My favorite part of the night was the presentation of awards. It was a chance for me to thank all of the people that have inspired me and who have helped me make Beautify CNMI a success.
We gave out awards in two categories, the Environmental Champion Award and the Environmental Steward Award.
The Environmental Champion award recognizes a person or group that exemplifies the Beautify CNMI spirit. Those qualities include volunteerism, cooperation, innovation, creativity and the ability to infect others with the Beauty Virus. The Environmental Champion is a role model for others to follow. They bring environmental issues to the forefront of public consciousness. They make things happen and effect change.
Environmental Champions (left to right): Rep. Waki, Ken Kramer, Kathy Yuknavage (Champion!), Carl Brachear (Champion!), Bree Reynolds (Champion!), Steve Hiney, Katie Busenkell, Rep. Cinta Kaipat, Ray Mafnas, and Angelo Villagomez (that's me!)
This year's winners were Bree Reynolds, Kathy Yuknavage, and Captain Carl Brachear.
The Environmental Steward award recognizes a person or group that leads the community in activities that help protect our environment in a variety of ways. This individual or group has demonstrated the need to take pride in our islands and to take care of the place we all call home. They serve as an example for others, especially the next generation, to follow.
Environmental Stewards (left to right): FMI President Marites Castillo (Steward!), Ike Cabrera, Ken Kramer, Rep. Waki, Steve Hiney, Katie Busenkell, Adam Sablan (Steward!), Rep. Cinta Kaipat, Ray Mafnas, and Angelo Villagomez (that's me again!)
This year's winners were Adam Sablan and Friends of the Mariana Islands (FMI). We also presented FMI with the 2006 USDA Earth Team Group Award.
By the time we finally finished giving out awards, thanking people, and giving speeches, the buffet was over. No Seafood Night for Angelo. No bottomless draft beer and champagne...well, OK, maybe a little draft beer.
I asked Yoshimi if I could just have some champagne. She surprised me with a full bottle! I shared it with EJ and Scott, but drank most of it myself.
After the fundraiser, EJ and I went to Hard Rock Cafe for Tania's birthday party, which had an 80's theme.
I was pretty drunk from the champagne. You know how I know? When I was dancing, I couldn't stop thinking what I good dancer I was. That's a sure sign of drunkenness.
For more on the fundraiser:
Marconi wrote an excellent article about our event. Jaime Vergara also wrote about us in an editorial.