Community members help raise funds for Tinian church project

TINIAN — In less than an hour, Rep. Luis John Castro and KKMP’s Gary Sword were able to collect about $1,500 for the San Jose Church rebuilding project on Sunday.

Before the start of the program on the second day of the 15th Annual Tinian Hot Pepper Festival at Kammer Beach, Castro, who served as master of ceremonies, talked about the rebuilding project.

View photos from the event in our gallery

Sword then said he would donate $100 if Father Rey Rosal, the parish priest, would perform a song.

Members of the audience, especially personnel of Primary Source Inc., which was contracted by the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. for the power restoration program, started making their own cash donations.

More donations were handed to the San Jose Church booth on the festival grounds.

“This is all for Tinian,” Father Rey said before singing the Everly Brothers’ “Let It Be Me” with Sword.

 “We will rebuild our church, we shall rise and we shall overcome the test. Everything is possible,” the priest added.

In an interview, Father Rey said similar fundraising drives have been conducted off-island, adding that people have been very supportive.

He said Typhoon Yutu destroyed the church, including its furniture and fixtures.

“If we can raise $800,000 then we can start the rebuilding project,” he said, adding that the parish already has a blueprint for the new church.

On behalf of the parish pastoral council, Father Rey expressed his gratitude to all the people supporting the project.

Altar boy Jadon Lenteja, 12, was at the San Jose Church booth on the festival grounds to ask for donations. “We need help to rebuild our church,” he added.

Sue Perez, coordinator and adviser of the Santo Niño Dancers, said they performed during the hot pepper festival and the funds they collected were donated to the rebuilding project.

Also performing at the festival to help raise funds for the church were the Kuradang Dancers.

On Jan. 27, Perez said they performed during the Santo Nino de Tinian fiesta and sold t-shirts to raise funds for the church.