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The Quechan Tribe and the Yuma City Council distributed nearly $9,000 in gaming proceeds to nonprofit organizations during the regular meeting held April 18.
Under compacts with Arizona, tribal casinos contribute a percentage of their gaming revenues each year to cities, towns and counties, who in turn choose nonprofit community organizations as the beneficiaries. The Quechan Tribe operates two gaming facilities in Yuma County.
Tribal Vice President Virgil S. Smith joined Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls and City Administrator Greg Wilkinson in handing out four “big” checks. Myra Garlit, executive director of the Crossroads Mission, accepted $2,000 in funds. The faith-based organization helps individuals who find themselves at a "crossroads" in their lives. The organization’s goal is “to help them take that direction that will bring them to a personal encounter with God and to help them make changes that will result in a better quality of life.”
Lana Shapiro, director of development for the Humane Society of Yuma, accepted $2,000 for its spay and neuter program. The organization’s main goal is "to reduce the number of homeless pets through rescue, adoption and spay/neuter programs." The Yuma organization operates a reduced-cost spay and neuter clinic.
Diane Umphress, executive director for Amberly’s Place, accepted $2,000 for the family advocacy center, the only one in Yuma County with a crisis team to assist victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault and elder abuse.
Several children were on hand to accept a $2,968 check on behalf of The Children’s Ball, which is having its next sold-out event on May 12 at the Yuma Art Centre. The event features a gourmet dinner, live music, parent/child dancing, performances, choir, orchestra, Disney and Marvel characters, professional family photoshoots and gifts.
The mayor thanked the tribe for providing the funds to the service organizations. “It’s great to have the vice president here. Quechan Nation is a great partner. They give back to our community and to have them here tonight is a great honor. Thank you,” he said.