The Northern Marianas Trades Institute if you recall back in Feb. 21, 2016, was burglarized. The unsavory act was felt throughout the community as much outpour on social media followed. Many of the institute’s supporters helped by letting others know that purchasing stolen goods is a crime in of itself to prevent the sale of the stolen assets. This act not only infuriated NMTI’s supporters, it also attracted those that wanted to do something immediate to aid the upstart educational establishment. One particular individual that such an atrocity attracted was Lee Ivan Bowen of Missouri.
Bowen, a former Saipan resident and employee of Northern Marianas College’s Cooperative Research Extension & Education Services, immediately e-mailed Ross Manglona, director of Continuing Education and Workforce Development asking what was stolen from the break in. Given the list also provided to the police, Bowen went shopping online for such products. Having lived on Saipan previously, he knew shipping remains a major obstacle in the region. He ordered all of the tools via Guam’s Home Depot seeing the logistics to be a little more manageable due to its vicinity. The school received the donated tools on May 18, 2016, via Triple B Forwarders. The inventory of tools donated include a jack hammer, angle grinder, plunge router with router tips, and chop saw.
Agnes McPhetres, NMTI’s CEO, said, “Mr. Bowen’s donation came at a rather great time. It’s amazing how word got out so quickly about our recent misfortune. What’s more amazing is how quickly members of our community came to our aid. In this case, a gentleman who now lives in Missouri came in our hour of need.” Manglona reiterated, “That a school is only as strong as the stakeholders that comprise it. Our students and faculty are very thankful to Mr. Bowen and his family as their generosity could not be stopped by distance nor ocean as this donation was made from thousands of miles away. We must all agree that this gesture is extremely heartwarming.”