Several South Bend and other organizations in the immediate area received a share of $860,000 in donations from the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi and its Four Winds Casinos.
The donation is part of a voluntary local agreement between the Pokagon Band and the city of South Bend. This is in addition to annual payments to the city of South Bend; the Pokagon Band also funds a variety of community development projects and causes.
“The Pokagon Band is very pleased to be able to make these contributions to the city of South Bend, the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County, YWCA of North Central Indiana, the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, Jobs for America’s Graduates Indiana, Beacon Health Foundation, the Bowman Creek Project, South Bend Community School Corporation, and South Bend Venues, Parks & Arts for the renovation of Howard Park,” said Rebecca Richards, tribal chairwoman of the Pokagon Band and CEO of the Pokagon Gaming Authority. “We are very proud to support the city, along with these important organizations that play a vital role to serve the residents of the community and help make South Bend a better place to live.”
The Pokagon Band has a voluntarily agreement with 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 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 arrangements in three additional communities where the Pokagon Band’s Four Winds Casinos operate including the Michigan communities of New Buffalo, Hartford and Dowagiac.
In addition to the annual payments to the city of South Bend, the tribe also proposed to fund a variety of community development projects and causes including:
- The Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County, $20,000.
- The YWCA of North Central Indiana, $25,000.
- The Food Bank of Northern Indiana, $20,000.
- Jobs for America’s Graduates Indiana, $50,000.
- Beacon Health Foundation, $100,000.
- The Bowman Creek Project, $100,000.
- The South Bend Community School Corp., $100,000
- South Bend Venues, Parks & Arts, $445,000.