Raising hands for community service
By Anita Wuellner
Hundreds of hands were raised in thanks at a special dinner held November 22 to honor the work of more than 225 charitable organizations that received contributions from the Tulalip Tribes this year.
Community leaders and members of local charitable organizations attending the semi-formal event at the new Tulalip Resort Casino were treated to a traditional salmon dinner and the sounds of the Salmon Ceremony Singers. A touching video showcased the impacts of the Tribes' contributions.
Board member and business chairman Glen Gobin informed the audience that raising the hands with the back of the hands facing the audience is a welcoming gesture, a sign of peace and friendship.
"We are proud to be a part of the community and proud to give back," commented Mel Sheldon, chairman of the Tulalip Tribes. "Together, our partnerships have made a difference."
The Tribes donated $2.7 million this year, breaking their previous charitable record. Since 1993 tribal donations have added up to $29.2 million.
Gobin explained, "As a successful business, we have a responsibility to help give back and support our own community. If it was not for the community, we would not be here."
Providence General Foundation's Randy Petty and his wife, Tai Le, attended the event, with Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett receiving the largest donation this year. The $100,000 gift will help fund the cancer center in the new Tulalip Towers addition.
Candy Castellanos, development specialist for the Little Red School House, commented that the Tulalip Tribes is a very generous supporter of their organization. Funds support the Little Red School House's outreach and early intervention services in Snohomish County in both Lynnwood and Everett. They have a parent coaching model in providing early intervention services to families whose children have developmental delays and disabilities from birth to three years, and with children in shelters having difficulties.
In addition to current recipients of contributions, representatives of non-profit organizations hoping to benefit in the future were also in attendance. Among them were Sandra Newmann, teen parent advocate, and Kim Mosley, development director of Deaconess Children's Services in Everett. Deaconess Children's Services started as an orphanage years ago and has been working to keep kids safe for 110 years. Last year over 4,000 families were served, and this year the needs have almost doubled while resources have decreased. Newmann works closely with six tribal teen moms, four of whom are members of the Tulalip Tribes, and four Native American babies.
"Charities will be suffering in the next couple of years," forecast tribal treasurer Charles James, "but we will still be helping them during this difficult economy."
As Sheldon noted, "We come together from all walks of life, and we come to share."