Local celebrities promote reusable bags at Joeten stores

LOCAL celebrities, including lawmakers, beauty queens, entertainers, business leaders and sports icons, promoted reusable grocery bags at Joeten Susupe and Garapan on Saturday. 

The campaign started at 10 a.m. and was organized by Bridge Capital, Joeten Enterprises and Micronesia Island Nature Alliance or MINA. They were able to distribute close to 1,125 reusable bags to shoppers. 

“We provided reusable grocery bags to customers so they won’t have to use plastic bag when they shop again,” Bridge Capital chief operating officer Tucker Baldwin said. “They can use the bag over and over again. It will help cut down the use of plastic bags which helps the environment.”mina2016-2017 Miss Marianas Peachy Quitugua, CNMI Got Talent winner Neil Fama, 2018 Miss Marianas Celine Cabrera, first lady Diann Torres and Marianas Variety publisher Laila Y. Boyer were among the celebrity baggers at Joeten Garapan on Saturday. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

It was also a fundraising event for MINA. “For each bag that they get out today, Bridge Capital will donate $1 to MINA,” Baldwin said. 

The proceeds will help MINA continue its important work which includes cleaning up the beaches and educating children and other members of the community about the importance of protecting the environment, he added. 

Joeten Enterprises has been implementing “No Plastic Tuesday” for three years now in conjunction with MINA. 

“Bridge Capital is giving out free shopping bags that people can use on ‘No Plastic Tuesday,’ ” Baldwin said.

Each participating celebrity  spent one hour bagging  grocery items and helping educate shoppers about the need to reduce the use of plastic bags. 

Senate President Arnold Palacios volunteered at Joeten Garapan store. “I was a bagger boy when I was in high school,” he said. 

Jose Quan of GetFit CNMI said: “Today we are here to promote reusable bags. Every plastic bag we use is not good for the environment because it ends up as trash.” 

Shane Alvarez, also of GetFit CNMI, said: “This is definitely a fun thing to do. It is nice because locals and tourists get a bag that is not plastic, and it helps save the environment.” 

According to Derrek Cutting of Latte Built Fitness and Nutrition Center, he is a big supporter of MINA projects. “I have done the Green Gala before. I always try to contribute any way I can. Today, I was invited by a friend from Bridge Capital and I came here to participate because it is for a good cause.”

2016-2017 Miss Marianas Peachy Quitugua said she is grateful to Bridge Capital for helping promote environmental protection and reusable shopping bags. 

“I have always been a promoter and supporter of environmental awareness since I was in high school. I am so proud to be here. I just want to send a message to everybody to always bring a reusable bag when they go shopping so that we can stop the use of plastic bags and help reduce our carbon footprint.”

First lady Diann Torres said it was a fun experience for her. “We met many great people, shopping and getting ready for Easter celebration.”

2017 CNMI Got Talent winner Neil Fama said he felt good to be a part of the event. “I was actually surprised to be offered the opportunity to help out. I also hope that I can help make the day of the people that we assist with a word or a smile.”

During his one-hour stint as a bagger boy at Joeten Garapan, he showcased his magic skills to entertain children. 

2018 Miss Marianas Celine Cabrera said she is a big supporter of activities that help protect the environment. 

“Hopefully, more people will take part. I want them to realize that we only have one Earth, and we only have one island. We have to do all we can to protect it by reducing the use of plastic and materials that are damaging the environment. Please take advantage of the reusable shopping bags.” 

The local celebrities who participated in the bag-a-thon event:

At Joeten Susupe 

Agnes McPhetres, Jerry Tan, Catherine Attao, local comedian Chinaman, Rep. Ed Propst, fire chief Clyde Norita and eight firefighters, Andrea Sablan, Perry Inos  Jr. of Triple J, Gloria Cavanaugh, Judge Perry Inos, Velma Palacios, Coach Gary, Coach Jess, Samantha Birmingham-Babauta. Rep. Edmund Villagomez, Robbi Schorr, Billy Grow, Bonny Cruz, Matua Riders Ed Flores, Steve Llagas and Warren Villagomez.

At Joeten Garapan 

Cuki Alvarez, Senate President Arnold Palacios, Derrek Cutting, Jose Quan, Shane Alvarez, Rep. Vinnie Sablan, John Castro, Tony Pialug, Dr. Carmen Fernandez, Sen. Justo Quitugua, Donna Krum, Public Safety Commissioner Robert Guerrero, Rep. Angel Demapan, Neil Fama, 2018 Miss Marianas Celine Cabrera, 2016-2017 Miss Marianas Peachy Quitugua, Laila Y. Boyer and first lady Diann Torres.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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