Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii has announced that it has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Alexander & Baldwin to improve its Maui Mentor Center.
The 6,000 square foot facility in Wailuku is named in honor of Mercer K. “Chubby” Vicens, a former A&B employee and member of BBBS’s board.
On November 26, Vicens and other A&B employees gathered at the Maui Mentor Center to present the $10,000 check to BBBS President/CEO Dennis Brown.
“We are deeply grateful to A&B for their support throughout the years, and for their commitment to the Maui Mentor Center. It was especially fitting that Chubby (Vicens) was part of today’s presentation. The Center would not be here without Chubby’s leadership,” said BBBS President/CEO Dennis Brown. “This center has provided valuable services to the keiki and families within our community for twenty great years, and we look forward to being able to continue our programs in the years to come thanks to this generous grant from A&B.”
Vicens expressed gratitude to BBBS and A&B, two organizations he holds close to his heart.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii has provided unconditional love to the youngsters of Hawaii for decades,” said Vicens. “Many of the kids who come through these doors are in tough situations, but BBBS gives them a place they can call home. The Bigs organization has done an outstanding job nurturing our youth. Mahalo to A&B for their generous kokua to an organization that means so much to me and the people of Maui.”
Chris Benjamin, president and CEO of A&B, said, “Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Chubby Vicens Maui Mentor Center are crucial resources for communities in Hawaii. As a big brother myself, I know what a great organization this is. A&B has supported BBBS for 30 years and we are proud to continue that tradition with this grant. Chubby is an important member of both our A&B family and the greater Maui community, and we are grateful for the opportunity to honor his legacy with BBBS.”
The Center dates back to 1996, when BBBS leadership initiated a capital campaign to construct offices and a mentoring building on Maui. Built near Hale Makana O Waiale to support the keiki from the community, the Maui Mentor Center opened its doors in 1998.The building is now twenty years old and many of the original fixtures have reached or are nearing the end of their useful life. The grant from A&B will underwrite building improvements to preserve this important resource for Maui families.