Company’s total donations so far this year now over $44K
The gift-giving holiday came early for 18 non-profit groups and other entities after Bridge Capital LLC gave away $26,000 yesterday, bringing to $44,229.70 the international investment banking and asset management firm’s total donations to the local community so far this year.
Shawn Scott, manager and co-owner of Bridge Capital, led the brief donation ceremony that he said is their way of “giving back” to the community where they operate. The international financial company is headquartered on Saipan.
A team within Bridge Capital reviews requests for donations throughout the year, and a majority of those do receive donations. These are groups that have the greatest impact on the community, including in the areas of education, health care, arts and culture, and crime prevention.
“On behalf of all the employees of Bridge Capital and my partner, John Baldwin, I would like to join Gov. [Eloy S.] Eloy Inos in recognizing all of the terrific organizations here today that work so hard to make the CNMI a better place for all of us,” Scott told the donation recipients.
He also said Bridge Capital is honored to be a part of important and worthwhile endeavors of these individuals and organizations since 2006.
“We look forward to our continued partnership to make our home, the CNMI, a better place for everyone,” Scott added.
Inos and other government officials witnessed the donation ceremony, along with recipients that packed the governor’s conference room. The governor also thanked Bridge Capital for helping out.
The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s Hemodialysis Center and CNMI Drug Task Force got the largest amount yesterday of $5,000 each from Bridge Capital.
The 16 others got a check of $1,000 each. These include the CNMI Nursing Association, CNMI Fire and EMS Association, Department of Public Safety’s Bike Patrol, Carolinian Affairs Office, Center for Independent Living, and CNMI Aging and Disability Resource Center.
Other recipients included the Commonwealth Cancer Association, Friends of the Arts, Hopwood Junior High School, CNMI Council for the Humanities, Mariana Islands Nature Alliance, PAWS Animal Welfare, Rota High School, Tinian High School, Guma Esperanza and Crime Stoppers.
Representatives of most of these entities were present to receive the donations.
In an interview after the ceremony, Scott said the CNMI economy is picking up and Bridge Capital looks forward to playing a role in the Commonwealth’s further economic development.
While they are not involved directly in electronic gaming, video lottery, or casino at this stage, Scott said they are happy to be able to “provide financing to people who are maybe working in the industry.”
He believes the key to economic development is supporting the business community and encouraging businesses to invest in the CNMI.
“I think so far we’ve been doing a good job of it. We can always do better and we strive to do better,” he added.
Scott Russell, executive director of the NMI Humanities Council, said they will use the donated money for upcoming programs, although they have yet to decide which specific programs, especially because there are at least three new ones slated for fiscal year 2015.
The NMI Humanities Council, which has always been a recipient of Bridge Capital’s donations, will be hosting the 3rd Annual Marianas History Conference. Another one is to mark the centennial of a Samoan chief’s “extraordinary voyage” to the Marianas.
“It’s a well remembered event in Samoa because he was the youngest chief and he didn’t get permission and he took off on his own,” Russell said.
He said the young Samoan chief also paddled from Saipan and then to Rota, before heading to Guam.
The Samoan chief learned German on Saipan, “with the understanding that he was going to get a job when he went back to Samoa with the German colonial administration but World War I intervened and the Germans were out and English-speaking New Zealanders were in,” Russell said.
He said the chief decided he would learn to speak English and the best place to do that was in Guam.
“So he paddled to Guam, got himself a job [there] with the Navy…until 1919 and by the time he could speak English, he asked them to take him back to Samoa and he had a career in government,” Russell said, adding that the chief passed away in the 1960s.