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Choctaw Nation raises funds for disaster relief

DURANT, Okla. ? The Choctaw Nation joined many other tribes to assist in the relief effort in New York with an offer to contribute profits from tribal businesses.

Chief Gregory Pyle said the tribe looked at various projects and came up with two it believes will bring in money needed to help those who suffered during the hijacked airliner attacks on the World Trade Center.

The nation is donating profits from all gasoline and diesel sales at its nine travel plazas Sept. 24 through 28 to disaster relief.

Choctaw Gaming centers are holding special bingo games with proceeds going toward disaster relief in the East.

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The tribal council voted unanimously in a special session Sept. 19 to donate an additional $20,000 toward the relief effort.

Choctaw spokeswoman Judy Allen urged people to become a part of the fund-raising activities through local media outlets in the area. 'Just for one week, come fill up with us,' she urged. 'We're not going to make a penny off of it.'

The Choctaws hope to raise at least $50,000, but haven't decided to which relief organizations they will send the money.

'God has blessed our tribe with the ability to sponsor these fund-raising efforts,' Pyle said. 'And I pray that He will bless America and its citizens.'