On February 9, 2022, members of PIFA's Board of Directors met at the Balboa Park Club. PIFA has hosted many events at the club including our luau and Miss PIFA Pageant. PIFA met with members of Sycuan Casino Resort, including Chairmen Cody Martinez. On behalf of Sycuan Casino Resort, Chairmen Martinez presented PIFA with a $10,000 donation towards the relief efforts in Tonga.
PIFA and Sycuan Casino Resort have a partnership that goes back to PIFA's first festival at the Embarcadero. In 1995 the Hokule'a was visiting San Diego. The ship was greeted by local islanders and representatives from the Kumeyaay Nation. At this festival the Kumeyaay joined in the celebration, and they offered blessings onto our festival, the Hokule'a and its crew.
26 years later, Sycuan Casino Resort remains committed to the Pacific Islander community and continues to support us in many ways. Chairmen Martinez explained to PIFA once he heard of the tsunami and the volcanic eruption in Tonga and the damages it caused, he immediately wanted to help. He went on to say, "There is so much of a correlation with the Pacific Islanders and the Native American culture." PIFA's President Anissa Acfalle and Vice President Rudy Tai thanked Chairmen Martinez for the donation. They went on to say, "PIFA is so grateful we are able to provide for the community because of partners like Sycuan Casino Resort."
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