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Lane Muraoka

Photo by Nicole Kato

Photo by Nicole Kato

Big City Diner collected change to effect change in the lives of keiki for Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii (BBBSH) last November and December to the tune of more than $1,000 — in spare change.

“The change adds up,” says Big City Diner owner Lane Muraoka. “People drop change all the time in the car or at home. It’s a win-win situation.

“People put in whatever change they can. I think every penny counts.”

Muraoka has the mindset that nothing is too big or too small.

“We’ll take it,” he adds.

Big City Diner locations in Kailua, Kaimuki, Pearlridge, Waipio Gentry and Ward placed change bins on each table and at the cash register. The public was encouraged to donate spare change for a good cause.

“A lot of the kids (affiliated with BBBSH) come from single-parent families,” Muraoka continues. “They don’t have a father figure or mother figure in their lives, and sometimes they don’t have siblings either.

“They (BBBSH) help kids have a role model or a friend they can talk to. It’s not every day, maybe not every week, but it’s something for them to look forward to, spending time with a Big Brother or a Big Sister.”

The monies went to the BBBSH matching program, which pairs at-risk children with caring adult volunteers in the program. In fact, Big City Diner has been partnering with BBBSH for a number of years already. To hear BBBSH fund development and marketing coordinator Rosanna Prieto tell it: “It’s a really cool relationship that we’ve been able to build on and benefit from.”

While the spare change promotion came to a close, Big City Diner already had embarked on its next effort to give back, this time to help Special Olympics Hawaii. Through the month of April, patrons of Big City Diner bought icons in predetermined amounts and wrote their names on them to benefit the nonprofit. The icons were then displayed at the participating Big City Diner restaurant.

Plus, those who ordered the eatery’s famous soybeans (made with its special Hawaiian spice sauce) had $1 of their purchase go to Special Olympics Hawaii.

“One hundred percent of the donations stay in Hawaii,” says Muraoka, noting that most of the restaurant’s clientele are local residents. “That’s very important to us.”

For more information about Big City Diner, visit bigcitydinerhawaii.com.