Coral Coast, Fiji, 18 September 2015 – Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa has raised $45,934.65 during its Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park ‘Sands of Time’ charity benefit hosted by the resort at the end of August.
Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa General Manager, Craig Powell, said the amount raised was above and beyond the targeted amount. “We were very humbled and honoured to be a partner for this very worthwhile project and the success of our event, was in no small part, due to the support of both corporate and individual sponsors,” Mr Powell said.
“At the outset we must acknowledge the lead role that our own unique guest loyalty club, our Bilo Bar Trust, took in pledging F$30,000 to this project during their Annual General Meeting last October. “The outcome of this event speaks volumes for the importance lent to our only national park and we hope that we have been able to raise enough awareness of the importance of this site to keep this momentum going,” Mr Powell said.
One of the more unique pieces that was donated for auction and one of the most contested items was an hour glass created by Alice Hill of Hot Glass Fiji. The sand contained in the hour glass was from the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park. Also among the auction items were two return tickets to Hong Kong donated by Fiji’s national airline Fiji Airways.
The Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park is one of 8 heritage sites managed by the National Trust for Fiji Islands and it is the most visited site on the main island of Viti Levu. It is located 15 minutes away from Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa.
National Trust Chairperson, Dr Sir Robin Yarrow stressed the importance of preserving the site. “Our duty of care for the special heritage contained in the unique Sand Dunes landscape is also ours to protect for future generations,” Mr Yarrow said. “While the Sand Dunes is very familiar as a result of its key location, many are not aware that the first settlers here pre-dated Christ and that remains of an extinct flightless bird and a crocodile have been found in adjacent caves,” Mr Yarrow said.
Money raised at the ‘Sands of Time’ event as well as a $10,000 donation from the Fiji Islands Hotels and Tourism Association (FIHTA) Coral Coast chapter will be used for the completion of a perimeter fence and upgrading of the visitors centre that includes the addition of a coffee shop and gallery scheduled for opening in 2016.
The official commissioning of the new perimeter fence will be held in early November during the Bilo Bar Clubs annual reunion as the money pledged by the club was used to kick-start the project.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts remains committed to operating in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner while balancing the interests of diverse stakeholders. In striving to be a leader in corporate citizenship and sustainable development, a corporate-level CSR Committee drives the company’s initiatives in the strategic areas of stakeholder relations, environment, health and safety, supply chain and employees.
Under the umbrella of sustainability, Shangri-La’s social responsibility programme consists of the two elements of “embrace” and “sanctuary”. Embrace focuses on Shangri-La’s Caring People Project, which aims to promote the highest level of education and health support in underprivileged communities. In sanctuary, the programme concentrates on Shangri-La’s Care for Nature Project, which promotes the conservation and restoration of biodiversity. For more information, please access the CSR section on www.shangri-la.com