SOUTH BEND, IN – The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi and its Four Winds Casinos presented checks totaling $435,000 to 12 organizations at a ceremony today at Four Winds South Bend. The community investment contributions demonstrate the Pokagon Band’s continued and ongoing commitment to the City of South Bend and the region, as well as organizations that focus on the needs of Native Americans.
Organizations that received contributions include:
- Beacon Children’s Hospital received $50,000 to support medical care for children
- Bodwéwadmimwen Ėthë ték, Inc. received $50,000 for Potawatomi language preservation programs
- Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County received $20,000 to support before and after school programs
- Cultivate Food Rescue received $20,000 to provide meals and support the organization’s backpack program
- Food Bank of Northern Indiana received $20,000 to support mobile food distributions
- Logan Community Resources, Inc. $50,000 to support programs and services for adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- Proteus received $20,000 to support programs and services for agricultural workers
- St. Joseph High School, South Bend received $100,000 to support the retiring and re-branding of the school’s mascot
- South Bend Community School Corporation received $50,000 for the development of the St. Joseph County Regional Career Hub and to fund its Ivy Academy Career Technical Education dual credit program, allowing students to accumulate college credits while still enrolled in high school
- The Kwek Society received $20,000 to supply period products to Indigenous students and communities across North America
- Unity Gardens received $10,000 to expand projects to support underserved populations who have less access to safe green space, fresh healthy food, and meaningful hands-on learning opportunities
- YWCA of North Central Indiana received $25,000 to help victims of domestic violence and assault, empower women to build brighter futures, and teach skills to support self sufficiency
“The Pokagon Band is very pleased to be able to make meaningful contributions to these very important organizations that do so much to support the varied and diverse needs of the residents in South Bend and the region,” said Rebecca Richards, Tribal Chairwoman of the Pokagon Band. “Not only is South Bend home to hundreds of our Pokagon Citizens, but also hundreds of our Four Winds Casinos employees. Ensuring access to specialized services and programs not only improves the quality of life for those in need, but it also makes South Bend a better place to live for everyone.”
“As one of the largest employers in the region, the Pokagon Band’s Four Winds Casinos plays an important role in supporting the local economy including utilizing hundreds of vendors and local businesses for their products and services,” said Clayton Mason, CFO and interim COO of Four Winds Casinos. “We are extremely pleased to take that contribution a step further by making charitable donations to these important organizations that support the personal needs of so many.”
In addition to these contributions, the Pokagon Band and its Four Winds Casinos actively support the South Bend community through a variety of donations and causes. Earlier this month, the Pokagon Band and its Four Winds Casinos donated the proceeds of the 2023 Four Winds Invitational, which totaled $100,000 to Beacon Children’s Hospital. The Pokagon Band has donated a total of $992,500 to Beacon over the last twelve years using the proceeds from the tournament.
In addition, the Pokagon Band has also funded major community development initiatives within South Bend including $2,225,000 for the renovation of Howard Park, $500,000 for the Bowman Creek Project, and $500,000 to Beacon Children’s Hospital for the renovation and modernization of the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Several other large contributions were made to support several non-profits which serve the South Bend community.