On Thursday night, August 26, look for the blue and white.
The Hutchinson Metro Center will glow with blue and white lights on Thursday in honor of what would have been Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday.
The sprawling office complex, located at 1200-50 Waters Place, will do Mother Teresa the honors after management at the Empire State Building said they would not.
The Hutchinson Metro Center’s management will host a small ceremony late in the day, before the lighting, presided over by Father Richard Gorman. Oraganizers are keeping the ceremony brief and minimal because they believe that is the way Mother Teresa would have wanted it.
The two office buildings will be lit during the early evening and lights should be visible from the Hutchinson River Parkway.
August 26 will also be a day of service in Mother Teresa’s memory. Both the lighting and the dedicated day are sponsored by Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who reached out to Simone Development, the management of Hutchinson Metro Center, after the Empire State Building’s operators refused to light up in Mother Teresa’s honor.
Vacca said that the Albanian-born humanitarian, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and operated a mission in the Bronx, exemplified service. Vacca pointed to her as a strong role model for the way she helped those in need regardless of race or religion.
“I want to thank the management of the Hutchinson Metro Center because from the very beginning of reaching out to them, they were very enthusiastic,” Vacca said. “These are some of the taller buildings in my district. She is being celebrated on her birthday for her sacrifice and her help to those all over the world.”
Vacca said he is disappointed with the managers of the Empire State Building, who have lit the building before for pop star Mariah Carey, among others. He said that to not honor the iconic humanitarian is an insult.
“She should be celebrated on her birthday all over the world for her sacrifice and help to everyone,” Vacca said. “I think that the Empire State Building is spitting in the face of decent people around the world.”
The Hutchinson Metro Center is a focal point of the business community, with the Bronx Chamber of Commerce corporate headquarters in its office park. Chamber CEO Lenny Caro said that he was happy to hear Mother Teresa will be honored in such a way and that the Chamber, by being part of the office complex, can play a role in it.
“The Hutchinson Metro Center is like our Empire State Building in the Bronx,” Caro said. “The Chamber is proud and thrilled to be part of the recognition of such a saintly humanitarian.”
The day of service and the lighting of the Center is especially important to the large Albanian community in the borough. In 1972, Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity opened its first mission in the United States right here in the Bronx. In April 2010, a portion of Lydig Avenue was named in her honor.
“If anyone is a living saint, it was her,” said Albanian-American community leader Esad Rizai. “I am upset they did not light the Empire State Building in her honor, but glad the Councilman Vacca got the Hutchinson Metro Center lit. I am always appreciative to anyone who supports my people.”
For further information on Councilman Vacca’s Day of Service in honor of Mother Teresa, please call (718) 931-1721.