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Bridge Capital donates $50,825 to 18 groups
November 11, 2010

Bridge Capital LLC gave early Christmas presents with a donation this year of $50,825 to 18 organizations, 13 of them receiving the checks and a van yesterday in the presence of Gov. Benigno R. Fitial on Capital Hill.

John K. Baldwin, principal and chief executive officer of Bridge Capital, along with Fitial, presented a total of $38,700 check yesterday, while $12,700 was given early this year to five other groups.

Bridge Capital is an international investment banking and asset management company headquartered on Saipan. 

The recipients of Bridge Capital's donations yesterday were: the First Lady Foundation, the Ben Fitial Foundation, the Santa Soledad Mission Parish in Kagman, the San Jose Church, American Red Cross, Dolphin Chapter of the National Honor Society, Friends of the Arts, Beautify CNMI, NMI Council for Humanities, Crime Stoppers, Joeten-Kiyu Public Library, and Pet Assistance and Welfare Services (PAWS).

Karidat Social Services, for its part, got a van from Bridge Capital.

“God must have heard our prayers. .This is a wonderful blessing,” Karidat's Lauri Ogumoro said as Baldwin presented the van's key to the organization. Ogumoro said Karidat's vans are old.

CrimeStoppers' Jason Tarkong, for his part, said CrimeStoppers will put the donated amount to good use.

The Friends of the Arts presented Baldwin with season tickets and a lifetime membership.

Baldwin said giving money is always more difficult than anyone thinks because the company has to select groups or organizations that are in need, and there are many of them. 

He said he and Bridge Capital and its employees appreciate the opportunity to be able to give back to the community.

“Our company is very blessed. We work very hard. We make a good living on the things we do and it's good to give back. I think by giving you actually get and I think it's important for everybody who can to give, and I believe that and I live that,” he told reporters after the donation.

Early this year, Bridge Capital donated to Boy Scouts of America-Aloha Council, CNMI Bar Association for the Attorney General's Cup speech competition, Independents Futbol Club, Saipan Southern High School's Manta Ray Band for its trip, and Xclusive Golf Association for the 20th Police Training Academy.

Special Christmas project

Baldwin asked recipients gathered in the governor's conference room for ideas on how Bridge Capital can help CNMI entities this Christmas season.

“If you have any ideas in this regard, let us know. .This is separate from other projects we do,” he said.

Baldwin also announced that next year, Bridge Capital will donate $2,500 each to all public and private high schools' honor societies.

Last year, Bridge Capital donated a total of almost $60,000 to different schools and organizations.

Bridge Capital specializes in high-yield distressed debt acquisition and structuring, equity and debt placement, investment management and real estate secured lending. It also provides management and consulting services to companies involved in commercial and residential real estate, land development, banking and loan origination, the company's website says.

Corn production, other projects

While Bridge Capital's headquarters on Saipan has less than 20 employees, it manages much larger companies in different countries, including the U.S., Canada, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Macau, the Philippines and the CNMI.

More recently, Bridge Capital has invested in corn production in Cambodia. Later, the company will also go into rice growing, also in Cambodia.

Baldwin said Bridge Capital worked with a Japanese farmers' cooperative to grow corn.

“I believe the world is going to need more and more food. Food production is shrinking. And so we had the opportunity to go into the farm cooperative and get involved in farming.” he said.


This article is from Saipan Tribune.

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