Pokagon Indians and Four Winds take charity donations to $672,500

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and its collection Four Winds Casinos have presented a $127,500 gift to Beacon Health System.

Taking place in the atrium of the Children’s Hospital, and proceeding the 2019 Four Winds Invitational which took place earlier in the year at Blackthorn Golf Club, it marks the eighth year of the partnership which has seen proceeds total $672,500 for the health system thus far.

This year’s proceeds will underwrite the purchase of pediatric eye imaging equipment, with the technology allowing physicians to examine and evaluate the eyes of premature and full-term newborns for ocular diseases.

“We are incredibly grateful for our long-standing friendship with the Pokagon Band, Four Winds Casinos and Blackthorn,” explained Larry Tracy, president of Beacon Children’s Hospital. “In eight years, they have raised well over a half-million dollars to fund projects that directly help people when they need it most. We’re a stronger community because of them.”

The Four Winds Invitational was established in 2012 as part of the Symetra Tour – Road to the LPGA, and is sponsored by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and Four Winds Casinos, which has land-based properties in New Buffalo, Hartford and Dowagiac, Michigan, and South Bend, Indiana.

In past years, the Invitational has helped construct a multi-story building above the Memorial Leighton Trauma Center for the General Pediatrics Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Newborn Intensive Care unit and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic.

Matthew Wesaw, Pokagon chairman, said of the sponsorship: “A guiding principle of the Pokagon Band is its commitment to the health and security of families and children. 

“This event is a time-honoured tradition for our region—and one that aligns with our values through their willingness to support organisations like Beacon.”

Frank Freedman, COO of Four Winds Casino, added: “Four Winds Casinos is proud to sponsor the Four Winds Invitational and support a great organisation like Beacon. 

“Collectively, we all work hard to create an event that makes this tremendous impact on our region. We’ll continue to make it bigger and better each year—it’s going to be great for our community for many years to come.”