Sault Tribe contributions benefit U.P. organizations

SAULT STE. MARIE —- Upper Peninsula police and fire agencies, public schools, indoor and outdoor recreation areas and programs, and public universities are among the organizations that will share $850,926 in fall “2-percent” donations from the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

In total this year, the Tribe awarded $1,485,825 in 2-percent contributions to worthy recipients across the eastern U.P., including 2-percent payments made this spring. Communities and citizens in seven U.P. counties – Alger, Chippewa, Delta, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette and Schoolcraft – benefit from the Tribe’s “Two for You” program.

Since 1993, the Sault Tribe has disbursed 2-percent payments twice annually to U.P. communities and organizations. Funds are distributed to communities extending from St. Ignace to Manistique, Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie. To date nearly $42 million has been awarded by the Tribe based on 2 percent of slot revenues from the Tribe’s Kewadin Casino properties in Sault Ste. Marie, St. Ignace, Hessel, Manistique and Christmas.

“We’re proud to be able to contribute to so many excellent causes through Kewadin Casinos,” said Kewadin Casinos CEO Michael Olujic. “This is a true sharing of resources across the eastern U.P.”

Top recipients of the fall 2-percent long-term funds include $52,275 for Lake Superior State University’s Gem of the North campaign to improve university facilities; $50,000 to improve the pool and track at Sault Area Public Schools; $29,000 for the Nah Tah Wahsh Public Academy’s Willow Creek Meeting Center; $10,000 for the Hendricks Township Town Hall electrical upgrade; and $10,000 for Little Bear Skate in St. Ignace. Funds also were awarded for a bus camera system for Pickford Public Schools, ALTRAN in Alger County, hospice care in Marquette, the food pantry in Munising, and many more worthy causes.

Scott Marshal, recreational director of the Little Bear East Arena in St. Ignace, said the Tribe’s donation will help the arena continue to offer sports and other programs to area youth.

“The money from the Tribe helps us keep these great programs going,” Marshal said. “This is a great benefit to our youth and our community.”

Short-term 2-percent funds were distributed to:

• Sault Tribe Unit I — Lake Superior State University Native American Center, $25,000; Pullar Stadium in Sault Ste. Marie, $5,000; student support services at Malcolm High School, $2,849; and hockey assistance for Sault Area Public Schools, $10,000.

• Sault Tribe Unit II — Bus camera system for Pickford Public Schools, $5,000; emergency camera system for Hudson Township, $1,800; Garnet Park fire rings for Hudson Township, $3,000; bathroom upgrade for DeTour Area Schools, $5,049; Fire Ambulance Building for Village of DeTour, $5,000; Clark Township volunteer fireman support, $3,000; and McMillan Township Resource and Recreation Center, $10,000.

• Sault Tribe Unit III — Bowling at LaSalle High School, $3,000; Mackinac County Sheriff’s toy drive, $3,500; City of Mackinac Island’s Turtle Park, $2,000; City of St. Ignace pocket park, $2,000; St. Ignace Fire Department, $5,000; Museum of Ojibwa Culture, St. Ignace, $12,349; Fort de Baude in St. Ignace, $5,000.

• Sault Tribe Unit IV — Rapid River Public Schools, Native American education, $3,366; Gladstone Area Schools, Native American education, $3,366; Escanaba Area Public Schools, Title VII, $3,366; Schoolcraft County Board Christmas program, $2,750; Little Bear Ice Skating in Manistique, $1,000.

• Sault Tribe Unit V — K.I. Sawyer Community Center, Forsyth Township, $2,500; Alger Arena, Munising, $2,924; YMCA of Marquette County, $2,500; Marquette Area Schools, Native American education, $5,500; Lake Superior Hospice, Marquette, $1,924; ALTRAN, Alger County, $5,000; food pantry, Munising, $5,000; Munising Public Schools, Native American education, $8,500; Aging Services, Marquette County, $2,000; Meals on Wheels, Marquette County, $5,000; Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum, Marquette, $2,000.

For more information on how to apply for 2-percent funds, contact Candace Blocher at 906-632-6281.

[Information courtesy Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians]