San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Honors Four Non Profit Organizations At Their Annual Yawa" Awards Luncheon

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The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians recently hosted their Fourth Annual Forging Hope Luncheon to honor four outstanding non-profit partners who have demonstrated the principles of Yawa’—“a call to manifest one’s beliefs through action” while serving the community.

Carla Rodriguez, Chairperson-elect of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

With the economic weaknesses we have now, it’s very important [that San Manuel support non-profits]

With a longtime history of charitable giving throughout San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians supports the belief in four specific program areas: education, health, economic development, and special projects. Chairperson-elect of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians,Carla Rodriguez, shared that their Yawa’ Awards “ recognizes four organizations each year that we felt have done the most for the community.” Recipients of the 2012 Yawa’ Awards represented non-profit partners from each of the four supported fields.

In the education program area, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians presented the 2012 Yawa’ Award to the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. In order to better Native Americans’ success in the sciences, AISES provides resources to Native American pre-college, college, and graduate students, as well as aiding early, mid, and executive-level professionals. Chair of the Board of AISES, Mary Jo Ondrechen expressed that “San Manuel has been very supportive of [AISES]…and we’re very grateful for today’s honor.”

Another recipient of the 2012 Yawa’ Award in the area of health was the American Diabetes Association. As a non-profit, ADA is devoted to life free of diabetes and all its related hardships. Stan Morrison, a representative of ADA commended the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ charitable giving as “one of the most significant pieces of philanthropy I have ever seen.”

Family Service Association of Redlands received the 2012 Yawa’ Award in the area of economic development. For the last 114 years, Family Service has assisted low-income and homeless families living throughout the East Valley. Cheryl Heesen, Executive Director of Family Services Association of Redlands, shared that receiving support from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is “critical because non-profits are losing significant amounts of government grants… and for organizations like San Manuel to step up to the plate to make that difference is everything to us.”

Lastly, the San Bernardino Symphony Association received recognition in the special projects division of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indian’s charitable giving program. The Symphony Association works to introduce school-age children to music throughout the San Bernardino County region, and give them the opportunity to meet and speak with professional musicians. Valerie Peister, Executive Director of the San Bernardino Symphony Association claimed: “the support of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is crucial and deeply appreciated by our organization as a partnership that has spanned many years and been a tremendous support to our programming as well as our outreach within the community.”

Through the generous support of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, many non-profit organizations have been able to survive and bring their services to those in need. Given that governmental funding has been drastically pulled from non-profits, Rodriguez recognizes that “with the economic weaknesses we have now, it’s very important that San Manuel support non-profits because they are the ones that are making a difference in the community.” Rodriguez went on to share that a deeper importance to hosting the Yawa’ Awards and calling attention to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ support of non-profit groups was “to show [other organizations] exactly what we’ve done, and encourage them to do the same."

For More Information
Contact Kenneth Shoji
San Manuel Office of Public Affairs
Public Relations Manager
tel: 909-864-8933
Kshoji(at)sanmanuel-nsn(dot)gov

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Dwight Cromie

Bill Friedl