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Gold MASI pageant sponsor

[photo: courtesy]

This past Wednesday, local business Tautua Mo Oe (TMO) presented a generous monetary donation that officially made them the Gold Sponsor for this year's Miss American Samoa pageant, set to be held at the Governor H. Rex Lee Auditorium (Fale Laumei) in Utulei next Saturday, with six young beauties scheduled to compete for the 2017-2018 title.

TMO company vice president Francine Gaisoa-Liulevaega presented a check of $5,000 to Simeafou Imo, president of Miss American Samoa Incorporated (MASI), in the presence of reigning Miss American Samoa Antonina Lilomaiava and this year's contestants.

In her remarks, Gaisoa-Liulevaega said that despite the local economic hardship facing the territory's residents and the business community, their company believes that this shouldn't hinder the efforts of the young ladies who want to take on the challenge to become the territory's next ambassador.

She told Samoa News yesterday that she has been communicating with others in the private sector and there is a consensus that owning and operating a business in the territory is "very tough" now, and has been for the past five years, compared to the years before that.

She said the Miss American Samoa pageant is "the only competition that our local girls are involved in, to represent American Samoa; and whatever little we can do to help, we will."

Gaisoa-Liulevaega is hopeful that other local businesses will make a donation to the cause, or even purchase a corporate table for the event. "This is a non-profit organization so they rely heavily on contributions," she said, adding that she is "very excited" because this year's contestants are "very beautiful girls".

Imo thanked TMO for the donation and said the money will be used to carry out pageant activities and everything that is being planned for an evening that will also mark the 25th anniversary of MASI.

On that night, Miss Antonina Lilomaiava will relinquish her crown after all former Miss American Samoa titleholders - who have been invited to the event - entertain the crowd during a program that promises to be both spectacular and memorable.