Sinalei marks birthday with act of kindness
The Sinalei Reef Resort and Spa started their 23rd anniversary celebrations with a Valentine Gala at Maninoa last Friday.
But the celebration was not just for the Resort. Founder, Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale, told the Sunday Samoan that the occasion was also an opportunity to fundraise for the improvement of mental health in Samoa.
“This evening is about celebrating our anniversary but at the same time picking up what the Valentine’s spirit is all about which is the heart to give,” he said.
“I acknowledge the support of everyone that came because they want to help someone who is in need of help - our fundraiser is dedicated for mental health in Samoa.
“We are very proud to be associated with the Goshen Trust which is an organization that helps those with mental health conditions.”
Tuatagaloa acknowledged that patients with mental health problems are often abandoned and neglected.
“As we all know there are some people that tend to look down at those who are mentally ill,” he said. “Others are left behind and their condition gets worse because they are being neglected and abandoned.”
“In our country we believe they are not getting the right help and assistance they need which I believe they deserve hence why we have fundraised.”
He added that people are defined by what they do for others.
“We are defined not by what we do for ourselves but what we do for others and these people need our help. We decided that because Valentines was commemorated so closely to our anniversary we used it as our theme.”
The celebrations continue today with a beach bash.
The anniversary celebration brings fond memories for Tuatagaloa.
“Looking back when it all started, with my late wife Tui Annandale, we bought 20 acres of land and built this resort in stages and it’s been a long time coming.”
“Our fighting spirit kept all of us going, we had to endure so many challenges but we never gave up,” he added.
Tuatagaloa acknowledged sponsors, Digicel, Taula Beverages, Tiapapata Art Gallery, Poutasi Development Trust and so many people.
“I am really grateful to my sister Sose, she is the General Manager, and our workers for all their hard work.”
Sinalei Reef Resort employs more than a hundred people. Goshen Trust is a non-profit agency with dozens of in-need patients and a team of full-time staff for mental health patients.