Hotel Nikko Donates Ifit Tree to Tamuning Elementary for Arbor Day


Guam – Hotel Nikko Guam has made a generous donation to Tamuning Elementary School in honor of Arbor Day.

In commemoration of Arbor Day and as a token of the hotel’s continued commitment to encouraging and educating the youth of our island, officials from Hotel Nikko Guam planted an ifit tree at the Home of the Whales.

Mr. Joe Blas, Hotel Nikko Guam Assistant General Manager, presented the tree to students, faculty, and staff during an assembly earlier this morning at the Tamuning Elementary School. In conjunction with today’s festivities, officials from the hotel also called upon the students to submit creative stories about the ifit in an effort to have them display their creative writing ability.

From left to right: Katherine Reyes, Tamuning Elementary School Principal; Jerome Arriola, Ifit Story Contest Winner; Marissa Peroy, Tamuning Elementary School 5th Grade Teacher; Mariana Santos, Focus D Leader/Tamuning Elementary School Teacher; and Mr. Joe Blas, Hotel Nikko Guam Assistant General Manager.

“Our main goal was to educate the children on the importance of keeping our environment beautiful and pristine. Our intention was to present the students with something they could be proud of and see grow with them throughout the years. We specifically chose the ifit because of its significance in our island culture. In order to get the students involved and excited about today’s ceremony we proposed the Ifit Story Contest. This was our way of having the children actively participate and learn how this tree is important to our island’s history,” says Blas.

“When I had initially read the announcement to the students, a lot of them had never heard of the ifit tree. We were able to use other resources such as youtube, the library, and the internet to gather information. It turned out to be a two to three day lesson. They learned how it related to the culture. They were really excited to write their papers and hoped they would win,” says Mrs. Marissa Peroy, 5th grade teacher of the winning story at the school.

Jerome Arriola was the winning author of the Ifit Story Contest and won a prize from Hotel Nikko and a pizza party for his class.

In addition, the hotel had placed a yellow ribbon around the tree in support of the Yellow “Support Our Troops” Ribbon campaign for the men and women serving our island in the United States Armed Forces. Hotel Nikko Guam has been committed to donating to the island of Guam for the past 21 years, especially the educational system.

Throughout its 21 years on island, the hotel has been committed to donating to all levels of education from elementary schools to universities and community college.