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Port Gamble S’Klallam tribe gives lion's share of donations to area schools

LITTLE BOSTON — The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe (PGST) is helping to bridge the financial gap in local education programs. On Friday, the tribe awarded more than $26,900 to 18 non-profit organizations with money earned from its Point No Point Casino. Because of recent North Kitsap School District budget cuts, the majority of the money was awarded to local schools.

“This time we helped a lot of school programs that don’t have a lot of funding right now like special education, reading programs and credit retrieval programs,” said Kara Horton, PGST executive assistant. “Schools suffer a lot in budget cuts.”

Tribal Chairman Ron Charles said requests to fund school projects is nothing new.

“We like to support them because they aren’t getting the money from the school district because the budget is so tight,” he said. “I think with the way we’re reading about the school district’s budget they are hit hard with the fuel crises, too.”

The Port Gamble S’Klallam award money comes from Appendix X funds — a provision compacted by Native American Tribes and Washington state legislature, which mandates 2 percent of tribal casino’s net profits are awarded to non-profit agencies. Each tribe that owns a casino has Appendix X, Horton said.

“The organizations we chose are some of the most important to the tribe,” she said.

With the planned $110 million rebuild of the Point No Point Casino, PGST Chief Executive Officer Doug Quade said he hopes the tribe will be able to award more in the future.

“We’re just really happy we’re doing well enough to do that for the wonderful organizations that have been a benefit to our community,” he said.

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