Boys & Girls Club alumnus gifted project car for birthday

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Michaela Brown, center, celebrates his new car with Jon Belz of BAD Company, Asaka Herman of the Boys & Girls Club, Todd Burns of PS&D/NAPA, and Kevin Belz of BAD Company, Friday at the Lihu‘e PS&D store.

LIHU‘E — Mikaele Brown celebrated his birthday, Friday, and got a free car from the collaborative efforts of Todd Burns, the Bumper and Dent Company, and John Ishibashi.

“This used to be the boss’s car,” said Todd Burns of Pacific Service &Development/NAPA. “He drove it hard, but it’s still a good car with just over 100,000 miles.”

Burns said the collaborative effort involved PS&D Tires putting four new tires and re-doing the brakes on the 2009 Chevy Cobalt.

“John Ishibashi did under-the-hood work like checking all the troubleshooting lights and making sure the engine was working right,” Burns said. “BAD Company with Kevin and Jon Belz — they’re the only company on Kaua‘i that work with water-based paint for cars — did the completion work with a nice paint job. It still has a lot of good miles on it.”

Tina Albao, the Boys &Girls Club of Hawai‘i Kaua‘i director, said Burns mentioned the offer of presenting the car to a Boys &Girls Club of Hawai‘i alumnus during the fundraising golf tournament earlier in the year.

“Todd learned a lot about what the B&G Club does,” Albao said. “He felt that an alumnus of the program would be a suitable candidate for the project car they were working on.”

This was not the first car PSD/NAPA has worked on and distributed.

Asaka Herman, the site leader for the Boys &Girls Club, Lihu‘e Clubhouse felt that Mikaele was the perfect candidate because of the family’s involvement with the Boys &Girls Club.

“Mikaela came through the program,” Herman said. “I believe he graduated about the time Tavia Rapozo did, but his younger siblings are still in the Lihu‘e Clubhouse.”

Jasmine Brown, Mikaela’s mother, was totally surprised by the gift.

“This is crazy,” she said, accepting the transfer papers. “When they told me about this, I realized, ‘Oh my God, it’s his birthday!’ He’s taking his driver training now, and he’ll have a car to drive after he gets his driver’s license. What an amazing birthday present!”

Mikaela, a student at the Kaua‘i Community College, was overwhelmed when he got the keys from Burns.

“I’m so grateful,” he said, getting help from Jon Belz of BAD Company. “And, blessed!”

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