Monday, July 16, 2007

Induction Ceremony Speech


JULY 1, 2007

I would like to welcome all of you to the first annual Induction ceremony for Officers/Board of Directors of the Friends of the Mariana Islands (FMI). A special welcome to you Honorable Rep. Jacinta Kaipat as you have been a Friend to the "Friends" before we were even the Friends of the Mariana Islands. Welcome to our beloved Consul General Honorable Wilfredo DL. Maximo, Welcome our special guest Ms. Katie Busenkell, Mr. Gus Kaipat, and also to Mr. Angelo Villagomez.

This is truly a historic day as our group of hardcore environmental cleanup and beautification experts. We have involved from a part of larger group who had concerns other than just the environment to select group that have dedicated theme selves strictly to the environment. Of equal importance is that we have evolved from a group representing only one nationality to a group that accepts all those who are concerned about the environment. regardless of national origin or citizenship. We believe that anyone from anywhere can come to Saipan and care about our environment. As a result of our beliefs we have welcomed anyone to our group who demonstrates a concern for the environment.

Last year. as a sub part of a larger group. Our efforts lead to that group being recognized even at a US-Wide level as a leading group to environmentally concerned individuals who dedicated an extraordinary number of hours to cleanup activities in our community. We thought of those accomplishments and wanted to develop an organization that reflected the concerns of those who had proven to be so dedicated that they brought recognition to the entire CNMI from the National level. Surely we thought that even more could be done if we developed a formal organization for those high environmental achievers.

Friends of the Mariana Islands (FMI) was started last year as a reflection of a need to have a group focus on the environment and particularly on the cleanup of our Island. As our team developed an expertise in how best to undertake cleanup efforts we realized that we could become an important component of the Beautify CNMI concept. As the President for the Friends of the Mariana Islands I decided to take the imitative to contact the organizers of the Beautify CNMI to see if we could link our efforts with theirs. We were pleased that just a the FMI accepts all people who are dedicated to helping cleanup our Island. That Beautify CNMI! also accepts help from all those who wish to improve the environment of our Island. While Beautify CNMI has diverse projects from under the sea cleanups to Tree Planting, which also a part of Restoration Projects of RC&D, we have boths partnered with theme in many of their efforts and also expanded upon their environmental projects with those of our own. We were proud to accomplish in record time our first funded cleanup project on Saipan just this last month and we Thank Mobil for their financial Support which made the drainage cleanup at MSGR. Martinez Street. and MSGR. Guerrero Street possible.

Though Friends of the Mariana Islands (FMI) was formed and projects have already been undertaken. Such an organization can not operate without some of its members accepting even greater burdens than others. I am now speaking about those who are being inducted today. FMI is non-profit organization and no one is compensated for the hours we all volunteer. This is also true for these Officers who volunteer even more of their time to make sure the organization is ready when the time comes for all of us to volunteer at different projects. I takes that extra volunteer time to have everything ready for our volunteers and these Officers are the ones that make it possible for our volunteers to have the support they need when they begin a project. Volunteers need to know where and when to show up, what they can do, that the tools they need will be there and even that health and safety concerns have been met such as having drinking water etc available. None of that happens automatically., it takes our officers to make that happen. Today we honor you Officers who have accepted the burden, with no privilege associated with it, of making the FMI work.


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