By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa | 16 Feb 2018
IMPERIAL Pacific International has chosen the Commonwealth Advocates for Recovery Efforts or CARE to be a recipient of the casino investor’s community benefit funds.
IPI on Thursday presented a check for $425,000 to CARE executive director Maxine Lazlo and board chairman Alex Sablan.
The $425,000 is a portion of the $20 million committed by the company to fund several community programs to include but not be limited to education, scholarship, infrastructure, healthcare and employee retirement benefits.
This commitment is mandated in IPI’s amended casino license agreement with the CNMI government.
The first $10 million was paid by IPI in January and the remaining $10 million will be paid in June.
CARE earlier reported that it still needs over $400,000 to complete the rebuilding and repair of the homes of 46 families whose houses were destroyed or damaged by Typhoon Soudelor in Aug. 2015.
Gov. Ralph Torres, in a statement, commended CARE and IPI for their hard work in ensuring that people’s lives will be better and back to normal.
“The work that CARE has done to bring many of our community members back to normalcy has not gone unnoticed. When folks in our community were hurting, CARE’s initiative to do what needed to be done bridged gaps between government, the private sector, and nonprofits. It is only fitting that we do our part to ensure that we help CARE find the funding to rebuild homes and create resiliency within our community. And with the additional funding provided by the IPI community-benefit fund, CARE will be able to close the portfolio and fulfill their mission of long-term recovery.”
The governor added, “I want to thank and commend past CARE executive director Jenny Hegland, CARE executive director Maxine Laszlo, CARE chairman Alex Sablan, the board and their team for the work they have done and the work ahead to assist the 46 families in their rebuilding process. I also want to thank [IPI executive] Mr. Ed Chen and IPI for their commitment to funding essential programs that directly benefit our community.”
In a separate statement, CARE executive director Maxine Laszlo said:
“We’re excited about being able to use these funds in the way they’ve always been intended — to help us with all aspects needed to complete our repair and rebuild program from Typhoon Soudelor. These funds were the final piece needed to ensure we can help the remaining families who have open cases with the American Red Cross disaster case management program (after these families are vetted through a process that takes a holistic approach to understanding families needs and why they have unmet needs from Soudelor). Without these funds, our program would have had to close its doors without helping the remaining families. Because of this support from IPI’s community-benefit fund as well as the continued dedication of the CNMI government to seeing that all families recover, especially from the honorable Gov. Ralph Torres, we will now be able to use all our leveraged resources from other partner agencies to help our remaining families get into stronger homes that will protect them in future disasters.”