There was no Award Winners I, but in a previous post I did post a photo of some of the Rotary Club members who are Friends of the Monument.
In my travels around the island I am taking pictures of our supporters holding the EPA Environmental Award given to the Friends of the Monument. I will post those photos on this blog. The people that you will see holding the trophy had a lot to do with our success.
Now that the monument is a "done deal," I can look back on 2008 and say that there were dozens of people that were crucial at a crucial moment in keeping our campaign to create a Marianas Trench Marine National Monument alive and ultimately successful.
I haven't told all those stories on this blog, but I will try to recount some of them as I post pictures of the Friends of the Monument holding their hard earned green glass trophy.
Aya and Willie Matsumoto are the bridge between the Japanese community on Saipan and the Friends of the Monument. Aya writes a blog in Japanese and many of her posts are translations of our blog posts and our press releases. Both Aya and Willie also wrote letters to President Bush in support of the Monument.
The Rotary Club of Saipan is not a political organization, nor did they endorse the monument. However, many of the members supported the monument and were active members of the Friends of the Monument.
Mike Tripp was one of the first people to help us in our campaign. He came to the first meetings and wrote several letters to the editor, as well as to the President. We missed him during the middle of campaign because he had some health issues to attend to, but he's back in action. In fact, most of the underwater footage used in the recent NBC story was shot by Mike.
Laurie Peterka was my fellow staff member during the campaign. I hired her early on and I couldn't have picked a better partner. We would argue over what food to have at meetings and I still refuse to admit that volleyball is a sport, but other than that we had a great working relationship and accomplished great things.
Vicky and Dennis both wrote letters to the President. They are both prominent, respected people on our island and simply having them be supportive in their day to day interactions with other people meant a lot.