Apollo Cinemas was flooded with members of the community who wanted to lend a helping hand to the Fijian community affected by Cyclone Winston on Monday night.
Among them was the Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi and the Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa. They were there for a special screening of the film ‘Moana: Rising of the Sea’. All proceeds will be given to ‘Save the Children Fiji’.
Guests were treated to contemporary dances by the stars of the film from the Fiji Oceania Dance theatre before they made their way into the cinema for the premiere of the film.
An auction also took place with prizes donated by different hotels in both Samoa and Fiji with the biggest prize being a return trip for 2 to Hawaii donated by Fiji Airways. Guests dug deep into their pockets while major sponsor Vailima Breweries made sure their cups never ran dry.
Cecil Leger, the Samoa Manager for Fiji Airways, said the event was all about giving back to Fiji.
“The show ‘Moana: Rising of the Sea’ was launched in Honolulu, Paris and Fiji and now we’re launching it in Samoa and we thought it would be a fitting way to raise funds for the children who have suffered from Cyclone Winston,” he said.
“Basically the show is about climate change and so it was fitting that the different changes in climatic phenomenons and with climate change being the fuel which intensifies and increases frequency of cyclones it would be a good idea to have the launch and raise funds for victims.”
Companies in Samoa opened their hearts to lend support for the noble cause.
“We had companies come on board and donate cash, companies who came and donated the food and drinks, and even Apollo Cinemas donated the venue for free which is something that they normally don’t do,” Mr. Leger said. “We have been very thankful that the companies and individuals have come and opened their hearts and dug deep to support the event.”
Aid has already gone to helping families in Fiji so the event organizers wanted to target children with the funds generated by the event. That’s why they have chosen ‘Save the Children Fiji’.
“Our focus has been the children because the government has already received millions of dollars in aid which has been channeled to various affected areas,” Mr. Leger said.
“We’d rather focus on the children so this money can be spent for their needs, whether it be for counseling to get over the trauma, or just the basic necessities for their school and livelihood.”
The fundraising event was a huge success.
“We were thinking that if we got 10 people through the door then it would be a success because everything has been donated so we haven’t used any of our personal funds.
“We didn’t expect this many people and it looks as if we needed a bigger space. We want to thank the business community and the people of Samoa for reaching out to the Fijian brothers and sisters in need.” As of press time yesterday, it could not be confirmed how much money the event raised.