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Eni celebrates 4th with Samoans in Tacoma

Congressman Faleomavaega Eni was the keynote speaker for the 3rd Annual Samoa Cultural Day festivities in Tacoma, Washington. The festivities, organized by the Asia Pacific Cultural Center (APCC) under the leadership of Executive Director Faaluaina Pritchard, took place over the 4th of July weekend, July 4-6.


Kicking off the weekend, the Congressman attended a July 4th youth event at the Asian Pacific Cultural Center along with faith-based, traditional, and community leaders.  Before a group of approximately seventy youth, the Congressman offered words of encouragement regarding higher education, leadership, and maintaining their cultural heritage. The same evening, Faleomavaega attended a community dinner also at APCC where he provided closing remarks and engaged in Q&A with community leaders.


The next morning Faleomavaega attended the 3rd Annual Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander ‘Move It! Youth Health and Fitness Day’ at Mt. Tahoma Athletic Stadium where youth participated in field exercises followed by traditional Samoan games. Remarks by the Congressman were followed by a Community Prayer Service at the Mt. Tahoma High School Performing Arts Center.


On the following day, July 6th, the Aso Aganu’u Samoa or Samoa Cultural Day welcomed 5,000 people from Washington, Oregon, California, Hawai’i, Canada, and American Samoa. The festivities commenced with a morning parade followed by the Color Guard presented by Toa o Samoa from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.


In addition to Congressman Faleomavaega, who offered the keynote speech, several other elected officials were in attendance including Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen, Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson, Tacoma Deputy Mayor Marty Campbell, Seattle Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith, and Senator Faleotagoa’i Tuiolemotu from American Samoa.


The program was filled with fa’afiafiaga, lauga, siva and pese, including presentations from Samoan groups and churches from throughout the Seattle and Tacoma region. With a focus on youth role models, the weekend programs also featured several successful Samoans from various arenas.


“I would like to extend my deep gratitude to Faaluaina “Lua” Pritchard and her team at the Asian Pacific Cultural Center for their tremendous leadership and vision in coordinating this year’s 3rd Annual Samoa Cultural Day,” Congressman Faleomavaega stated.


“I greatly appreciate Lua’s invitation for me to take part in this year’s festivities. For three years now I have been a part of this joyous occasion for our Samoan brothers and sisters in Washington State and each year I am thankful to see how much the community has grown and the interest from Samoans in other states and as far as American Samoa, Hawai‘i, and even across the border in Canada.”


“I also thank our leaders for making youth a priority every year, reminding our young people of the importance of their cultural heritage, and giving them hope for a successful future. I thank all of our faith-based leaders, military personnel, health advocates, and community leaders who attended this year as role models for our young people.”


“I congratulate Lua and the Asian Pacific Cultural Center and all participants on a successful weekend and I look forward to many more Samoa Cultural Days to come,” Faleomavaega concluded.  


Source: Media release from Congressman's office