Maui Electric Co. President Sharon Suzuki presented the Maui County Council, Boy Scouts of America with $15,000 for its STEM Scouts program. Pictured are Ellen Loucks (from left), council commissioner; Brian Kakihara, council president; Suzuki, council president-elect; and Duc Button, Scout executive/secretary.

Foundations and entities who contributed recently to Maui County community nonprofits and others are as follows:

Maui Electric Co. recently presented the Maui County Council, Boy Scouts of America with a $15,000 donation to support its STEM Scouts program. The donation, provided by Maui Electric’s Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation, will help with participatory costs and outreach efforts.

STEM Scouts is a coed program serving youths from 3rd through the 12th grades. The goal of the program is to grow skills and character through hands-on, experiential learning activities and interaction with STEM professionals. STEM Scouts is designed to be immersive, inspire creativity and problem solving, and encourage independent thinking. Students learn communication, cooperation, leadership skills, ethics, and the value of others’ efforts.

“We’re so grateful for the generous donation to support our STEM program,” said Duc Button, Scout executive of the Maui County Council, Boy Scouts of America. “This money will be used to provide needed STEM labs and programs and enable us to reach more youth in Maui County.”

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Maui Humane Society has been awarded a $1,000 Wailea Community Association Charitable Giving Grant. The funding will be used to subsidize no- and-low- cost microchips, an essential part of MHS efforts to keep animals at home with the families who love them. If an animal is lost or stolen, microchips increase the incidence of return-to-owner by providing permanent identification that cannot fall off, be removed or become impossible to read.

“We are very grateful to the Wailea Community Association for your generous and longstanding support of Maui Humane Society” said Jerleen Bryant, Maui Humane Society CEO.

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Gene Zarro, CEO of the South Maui Learning Ohana, which founded the Kihei Charter School, has announced that a fundraiser held by Nick’s Fish Market at the Fairmont Kea Lani Hotel raised $20,500 to support the opening of the school located at the top of Lipoa Parkway in the Maui Research and Technology Park

Restaurant owner Aaron Placourakis, president and CEO of the Tri-Star Restaurant Group that operates Nick’s, decided to celebrate Nick’s 20th anniversary with a food, wine and spirits event fundraiser for the grand opening of the Kihei Charter School. Placourakis is a longtime supporter of the school.

“We have always given back to the community wherever we lived,” said Placourakis. “The dedication of the people behind the charter school is incredible. Everyone said it could not be done and they made it happen in spite of the odds. We would like to be part of that effort.”

“It is the support of people such as Aaron and the Kihei business community that has sustained our vision of a dedicated Kihei Charter School educational facility,” said Zarro. “Now, we have finally achieved our goal and we are looking forward to additional opportunities in the future.”

The Kihei Charter School is a public school and does not charge tuition. Go to for information on educational programs and how to register.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii 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 the BBBS board. On Nov. 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 was part of today’s presentation. The center would not be here without Chubby’s leadership,” said Brown. “This center has provided valuable services to the keiki and families within our community for 20 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.”

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 20 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 resource for Maui families.

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The Maui Humane Society received a $11,000 grant from Hawaii Community Foundation FLEX Grants program, with $6,000 awarded from the Baciu Cultural Fund and $5,000 awarded from the Susan M. Kosasa Fund. The FLEX Grants program was created to provide funding to high-performing nonprofit agencies across the state of Hawaii.

“The nonprofit community on Maui is so fortunate to have the support and guidance that Hawaii Community Foundation provides,” said Jerleen Bryant, CEO of Maui Humane Society. “Receiving this funding will have a direct impact on the lifesaving work we do.”