The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi is pleased to announce that it provided funds totaling $860,000 to the City of South Bend and several area non-profits to assist with their operations and programs. This annual contribution marks year three of a five-year voluntary local agreement between the Pokagon Band and the City of South Bend which began in 2018.
“The Pokagon Band is very proud to be able to make our annual voluntary contributions to the City of South Bend and several non-profit organizations that play a vital role in serving the community,” said Matthew Wesaw, Tribal Chairman of the Pokagon Band and CEO of the Pokagon Gaming Authority. “Although the challenges due to COVID-19 persist, we must continue to find ways to support individuals and families, especially those with the greatest need. We are fortunate to be in a position to continue to provide this level of support in the current environment.”
The Pokagon Band voluntarily entered into an agreement with the City of South Bend to make annual payments from revenue derived from its Class II gaming devices at its Four Winds South Bend casino. The annual payments are in lieu of property tax payments and provide funding for city services and funding for community development initiatives related to the Band’s trust lands in South Bend. One percent of the Pokagon Band’s Class II revenues is paid directly to the City and another one percent is paid to the South Bend Redevelopment Commission to contribute to the improvement of educational opportunities and to address poverty and unemployment in the City. The agreement between South Bend and the Pokagon Band is similar to those in three additional communities where the Pokagon Band’s Four Winds Casinos operate including New Buffalo, Hartford and Dowagiac Michigan.
“The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi have been a generous partner in our community, and we are grateful for their contributions to improve our city’s parks, open spaces, and neighborhoods,” said Mayor James Mueller. “We look forward to continuing this great partnership into the future.”
In addition to the annual payments to the City of South Bend, the Pokagon Band also proposed to fund a variety of community development projects and causes. Organizations receiving a portion of the revenue share are:
City of South Bend and Local Non-Profits
∙ South Bend Venues, Parks & Arts received $445,000 for a total of $2,225,000 over five years for the renovation of Howard Park.
∙ Beacon Children’s Hospital received $100,000 for a total of $500,000 over five years for an expansion that includes the General Pediatrics Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic, Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NIC), all private patient rooms, playrooms, teen hideout spaces, Family Enrichment Centers, roof gardens and a two-story glass ceiling Atrium.
∙ The Bowman Creek Project received $100,000 for a total of $500,000 over five years to revitalize Bowman Creek and catalyze social, economic and environmental sustainability in the surrounding community.
∙ The South Bend Community School Corporation received $100,000 for a total of $500,000 over five years for dual language immersion, a summer academy, and national board certification for teachers.
∙ The YWCA of North Central Indiana received $25,000 for a total of $125,000 over five years. $20,000 of each annual amount will be applied to crisis services programs to help clients work toward self-sufficient and violence-free lives. $5,000 will be applied to children’s services to ensure the safety of children, mitigate toxic trauma, and break the cycle of violence.
∙ Jobs for America’s Graduates Indiana received $50,000 for a total of $250,000 over five years. The annual amount is being used to identify youth that need services via mobile units, Goodwill, and Youth Service Bureau street programs including staying in school, career training and guidance.
∙ The Food Bank of Northern Indiana received $20,000 for a total of $100,000 over five years. The annual amount is used for the Senior Nutrition Program, and an additional 200 seniors who will receive a 7 – 10 lb. bag of assorted food items. The Senior Nutrition Program currently serves 750 seniors a month. This program serves low-income seniors in Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Marshall, Starke and St. Joseph Counties.
∙ The Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County received $20,000 receive $100,000 over five years. The annual amount is being used for academic enrichment programing.