Alexander & Baldwin has awarded a $10,000 grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaiʻi for its Maui Mentor Center. The funds will be used to improve the 6,000 square foot facility in Wailuku, which is named in honor of Mercer “Chubby” Vicens, a former A&B employee an d member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters board.
The Center was built in 1996 near Hale Makana O Waiʻale and opened in 1998. Organization President and CEO Dennis Brown said the center has provided valuable services to the keiki and families in the community for 20 years. The grant, he said, will allow the organization to continue programs for years to come.
“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. He said, “Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii has provided unconditional love to the youngsters of Hawaii for decades. 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 Hawaiʻi. 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. 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.