The Return to Paradise staff have just completed distributing a container load of beds, wheelchairs and other medical supplies to spinal Injuries and hospitals around Samoa. This container was full of goods donated in New Zealand. The funds to bring the container to Samoa came from the Return to Paradise Resort fundraising for Samoa in New Zealand earlier this year.
The Maeva String Band, which performs hugely popular dinner concerts at Return to Paradise Resort, travelled to New Zealand at the invitation of Chris Paulsen, Managing Director of House of Travel to perform at the prestigious House of Travel Awards Night. Mr. Paulsen said, “The Maeva Band concert at Return to Paradise was the best night’s Polynesian entertainment I have ever seen in 40 years in the Travel Industry.”
While in New Zealand, Maeva Band performed at two fundraising concerts in New Zealand in March to raise funds for the Marist Trust in Samoa that supports spinal injuries in their own homes and families. The biggest event was the Gala Dinner hosted by Sir Michael Jones and Eric Rush. Eric Rush was so impressed by the whole evening, that he has booked for his entire family to come to Return to Paradise later this year. He also has offered to host another dinner for the Maeva Band next year which he promises will be even bigger, “These boys are talented – it was a great night for a great cause and I felt privileged to be a part of it,” says Eric.
Sir Michael Jones said that a whole host of rugby greats have offered to help in the future to fundraise for the Marist Trust. Sonny Bill Williams was so keen to help that he donated one of his own All Black playing jerseys which Eric and Michael live auctioned. It raised almost $8000SAT. “What amazing talent these guys have, and what a great cause to support,” said Sir Michael. “It was such a privilege to be a part of this project.”
All the goods in the container have now been distributed with the last load of 10 hospital beds donated to the Leulumoega Hospital.
“This has been a wonderful project and far exceeded our expectations,” says Resort General Manager Ramona Su’a Pale. The boys are talented, but their humility shone through, which is why the audiences loved them even more. This tour could not have happened without the support of Samoa Airways, Samoa Tourism Authority, and our friends at House of Travel. We are so grateful to all of them.”
The Maeva Band performs in Paradise Kitchen Restaurant every Saturday night