We had the opportunity to do some good last month, at the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention in Las Vegas. Hosted in partnership with NIGA Chairman Ernest Stevens, Jr., we brought the TournEvent® slot system to work to benefit Spirit of Sovereignty on Friday, April 20. We had a great turnout and loved the feeling of excitement that was palpable from players and spectators alike. The generosity we saw will help support tribal college scholarships and programs serving Native youth across the nation.
Spirit of Sovereignty was established in 2002 as the charitable arm of NIGA and is a NIGA-advised donor fund at the Indian Land Tenure Foundation. It directly supports the efforts of Native Americans and Native American tribes to achieve self-determination through educational opportunities and positive children’s programming.
The tournament started with 14 players who entered with a $1,000 donation to Spirit of Sovereignty. It was set up for two rounds of play, each with three sessions. The individual sessions were over in a minute each, progressing the top eight players to the final round. It was fast-paced flurry of excitement, for the second year running! Congratulations to the winners, whose skill and a bit of luck brought a total of $14,000 to charities benefitting Native youth.
- First place winner Samantha Urban, Urban Translations, is directing $6,000 to the Spirit of Sovereignty College Scholarship Fund.
- Joe Whitman, Slot Director, Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, has yet to decide where his $5,000 winnings will be directed, though it is likely going to programs that serve Native youth in Southern California.
- Cris Stainbrook, President, Indian Land Tenure Foundation, will be directing $3,000 to a lacrosse program in South Dakota that will help enable Native youth to compete in lacrosse tournaments.
A big thank you to all sponsors: AGEM, Ainsworth Game Technology, ILCC, Klas Robinson, Rymax Marketing Services, Inc., Soboba Band of San Luiseno Indians, TFA Capital Partners, Urban Translations, and VizExplorer. In addition, this event provided an opportunity for generous donations even from those who didn’t play, including the 29 Palms Band of Mission Indians.
We look forward to seeing even more TournEvent players and fans next year, for more fun for a great cause.