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Pechanga Raises More Than $100k for Wounded Vets and Youth Services

Pechanga Band of Mission Indians hosted a two-day charity golf tournament recently that raised more than $100,000 to local programs.

Pechanga Band of Mission Indians hosted a two-day charity golf tournament recently that raised more than $100,000 for the Semper Fi Fund, School on Wheels, Operation SafeHouse, and United Friends of the Children.

In its 16th year, the Pechanga Charity Golf Classic has brought together tribal government and Indian gaming industry leaders to raise nearly $1 million for vital nonprofits throughout the region. The event has grown in recent years to a two-day event that now includes more than 300 golfers on the championship Journey at Pechanga course.

“We deeply appreciate the work these non-profits do for our wounded veterans, homeless children, and young people,” said Patrick Murphy, president of the Pechanga Development Corporation. “We’re humbled to be in a position to support this important work that will lead to better outcomes for people throughout our region. Although Iraq and Afghanistan are not in the headlines like before, we can never forget the thousands of soldiers who served and sacrificed and will need our support for decades to come.”

Semper Fi Fund

The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit set up to provide immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. It directs urgently needed resources to post 9-11 Marines and Sailors, as well as members of the Army, Air Force or Coast Guard who serve in support of Marine forces.

"We are thrilled to be a part of this wonderful event once again, and are so grateful to the Pechanga community," said Karen Guenther, President and CEO Semper Fi Fund. "Their charitable efforts will go a long way toward easing the recovery of service members and their families; on their behalf, we say thank you!"

School on Wheels

The mission of School on Wheels is to enhance educational opportunities for homeless children from kindergarten through 12th grade throughout Southern California. Their goal is to shrink the gaps in their education and provide these children with the highest level of education possible. School on Wheels serves as a consistent support system to homeless students at a time of great stress and fear. The program brings the message to these underprivileged students that they are cared about and important. Funding from the Pechanga Charity Golf Tournament is directed to School on Wheels’ Inland Empire programs. School on Wheels is a repeat beneficiary of the Pechanga Charity Golf Classic. The program opened Riverside/San Bernardino counties area services several years ago after an infusion of funds from the 2011 tournament.

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“With Pechanga’s continued support, we have been able to expand our program and reach more homeless students in the Inland Empire than ever before,” said Janet Lang, Regional Director of School on Wheels. “Last year, we provided direct services including backpacks, school supplies and one-one-one tutoring to over 350 students living in shelters, cars, and motels in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. This helps the most forgotten and vulnerable children in our communities. We simply could not do what we do without your support and friendship. On behalf of the homeless children we serve with your generosity and encouragement, thank you.”

Operation SafeHouse

In business for nearly 20 years and with shelters in Riverside and Thousand Palms, Operation SafeHouse provides emergency and long-term shelter, intervention and outreach services to runaway, homeless, exploited, and other youth in crisis ages 12 to 18. Operation SafeHouse, in collaboration with Riverside Department of Mental Health Prevention Early Intervention Program, provides a formal and informal outreach program that includes Peer-to-Peer, Depression and Quality Improvement Treatment (DTQI) counseling to current and former foster youth ages 16 to 25 years of age, materials, classroom presentations, and lunchtime activities. The goal of the program is to engage youth in activities that promote healthy lifestyle choices and to change the perception of depression to assist youth in seeking assistance with mental health issues. Operation SafeHouse also serves as co-chair of the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking task force ensuring comprehensive care to all trafficking victims – minors and adults, domestic and foreign nationals.

“Operation SafeHouse would like to thank Pechanga for the generous donation to our organization, which will be used to purchase a 10-passenger van for our emergency shelter that will transport children to appointments, outings and more,” said Fonda Mc Gensy, director of Operation SafeHouse.

United Friends of the Children

United Friends of the Children is dedicated to the premise that foster youth deserve a successful adulthood.

Through its housing and education programs, foster youth in Los Angeles are provided with the opportunity to graduate from high school, attend and graduate from college, get a job, find housing and have a support system that moves them gradually towards independence. The goal is that the youth in these programs not only survive, but that they thrive.

"United Friends of the Children (UFC) would like to thank Pechanga for their $25,000 donation at the 2014 Charity Golf Tournament. This generous contribution will help make a life changing difference to over 1,500 current and former foster youth enrolled in UFC’s College Readiness, College Sponsorship and Pathways Housing programs," said Ian Ryen, Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager.