Christmas came early to nine schools and organizations in the CNMI with Bridge Capital LLC's donation of $31,500 yesterday, bringing to $59,500 the international investment banking firm's donations to the local community this year.
Bridge Capital chief executive officer John K. Baldwin, at the same time, said his firm is “increasingly interested” in agriculture, as well as power generation projects.
Agricultural projects being looked at include those involving sugar, eucalyptus wood, and acacia wood.
Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, who witnessed Bridge Capital's presentation of check, said the administration looks forward to working with the private agency in pursuing its projects.
Baldwin, in an interview with reporters, said it's company policy to giving to the community a part of what the firm makes. He said Bridge Capital, which is headquartered in the CNMI, wants to help its own “home.”
He led other Bridge Capital officials in presenting the checks to the following entities:
* Marianas High School, $10,000;
* Oleai Elementary School, $5,000;
* San Jose Church, $2,500;
* Autism Society of the CNMI, $5,000;
* First Lady's Vision Foundation, $5,000;
* Northern Marianas College Nursing Club, $1,000;
* Friends of the Arts, $1,000;
* Pet Assistance and Welfare Services, $1,000; and
* CNMI Council for Humanities (Motheread/Fatheread Program), $1,000.
Except for the NMC Nursing Club, all other recipients of the donations were present at the brief ceremony held in the Governor's Conference Room on Capital Hill.
First lady Josie Fitial and other representatives of recipient groups thanked Bridge Capital for its donations.
Jon Anderson, senior asset manager and public relations officer of Bridge Capital LLC, said the company prioritizes support to entities working toward promoting health and education.
Baldwin said Bridge Capital also responds to requests for donations.
“For this year, Bridge Capital donated close to $60,000,” he said, referring to the $28,000 in donations made earlier this year, and the $31,500 yesterday, totaling $59,500.
Bridge Capital also earlier proposed to revitalize the long-vacant La Fiesta Mall in San Roque by investing a minimum of $5 million in the facility to operate video lottery games, along with restaurants, shops and other tourist attractions.
But as of yesterday, Baldwin said Bridge Capital is still negotiating with the CNMI government on this project. It was the only entity that responded to the government's request for proposal to revitalize the La Fiesta property.