S.O.S: Saipan Natives Band Together to Help Their Homeland


They call themselves the Sons of Saipan and it is serendipitous that their acronym is S.O.S. in a time when Saipan is in need.



Guam –  It’s a group of professionals who have come from different industries and they’ve banded together with one thing in common: they were all born and raised on Saipan.  

Sam McPhetres of Taniguchi Ruth Makio Architects, Nate Torres of Black Construction, Kevin Barnes of AK Toyota, Amier Younis of Marianas Variety, and Dr. Felix Cabrera of GRMC make up the core of the group they created to be known as the Sons of Saipan. It is what they call a grass roots effort to help their island home.

Dr. Cabrera is utilizing his career field to help as he is in touch with the Commonwealth Health Center to find out what is needed both immediately and long term within the Saipan healthcare sector.  He and his GRMC staff are raising funds to order health kits that are able to serve up to 10,000 people for 30 days.

The kits are $12,000 each. The amount the group can raise will then be matched by GRMC.  The kits could come as far as from the Netherlands and delivered directly to Saipan.  In addition, he is working on providing basic hospital items like pillows, linens and hospital gowns for Saipan. 

Outside of his work in the medical field, he is teaming up with his fellow Sons of Saipan members as they see a need for basic items.

Younis says that they all have family on Saipan and have been communicating with them to find out what other basic necessities are needed.  Food, clothing and water seem to be most important and they hope to use any funds they receive to purchase needed items rather than sending money. 

This week, the Sons of Saipan are teaming up with a local restaurant, Pika’s Café, to help fundraise and collect donations for their shipment of those items. That connection was established with Lenny Fejeran, owner of Pika’s Café, when McPhetres designed the restaurant. 

Fejeran contributed his restaurant space when he heard about what the group was doing.  So from now until Saturday evening, Pika’s Café will be the drop off location for any donations.

Fejeran says that he encourages anyone back on Saipan to keep trying to let everyone on Guam know about the specific needs of the island so that the group can make the community aware of what is needed. 

Saturday evening, Pika’s Café will be the venue of the Sons of Saipan fundraiser from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. There will be entertainment, a slideshow of photos related to Saipan, food, and a portion of drink sales will be donated to the fundraiser’s monetary donation collection to buy goods for the relief efforts.

The event is free as long as attendees bring a donation for the cause.