Tulalip Tribes set record for charitable giving with $2.7 million in 2008 donations

Tulalip Tribal Chairman Mel Sheldon Jr. speaks at the Tulalip Tribes’ first “Raising Hands - A Celebration of Community” event Nov. 21.  -
Tulalip Tribal Chairman Mel Sheldon Jr. speaks at the Tulalip Tribes’ first “Raising Hands - A Celebration of Community” event Nov. 21.
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TULALIP — The Tulalip Tribes handed out a record-setting $2.7 million in charitable donations in 2008 to more than 225 charities and organizations, including many from north Snohomish County, and the important work of those recipients was honored Nov. 22 when the Tribes hosted its inaugural “Raising Hands - A Celebration of Community” event at the new Tulalip Resort Hotel.

Speaking to the nearly 350 people in attendance, Tulalip Tribal Chairman Mel Sheldon Jr., pointed out that since 1993 the Tribes have handed out more than $29 million.

“This year the Tribes broke its previous charitable record by donating $2.7 million,” he said.

“Together I believe and the board believes that our partnerships have made a difference in the community,” Sheldon said. “We’re proud of the work you yourselves are doing and we raise our hands to you in this way. It’s part of our culture to say “Thank you” by raising both hands.”

The Tribes’ charitable donations were wide ranging and diverse, and included a number of organizations in Marysville and Arlington.

Some of the local organizations benefitting from the Tribes’ generosity included the Marysville Youth Cheerleading Association, Marysville’s Parks and Recreation Department, Marysville Community Food Bank, Marysville School District, Lakewood North Youth Soccer Club, Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Association, American Legion Post 76, Stillaguamish Senior Center, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1561 and many, many others.

During the Raising Hands celebration a video was shown which included comments by some of the recipients. Chief Greg Corn spoke on behalf of the Marysville Fire District saying about the Tribes’ charitable donations, “We’ve purchased Jaws of Life which can be used to extricate people out of cars. We’ve purchased heart defibrillators to analyze and save people who have suffered cardiac arrest.”

Corn went on to add, “The Marysville Fire District continues to be a grateful recipient of the generosity of the Tulalip Tribes and that generosity not only serves Marysville, it also serves Tulalip and also provides for the greater good of the entire north Snohomish County.”

Tulalip Board member Glen Gobin praised the work of all the groups. “I want to thank each and every one of you. You see a need … where people are falling short or being left behind and you step up and try to address it.”

Gobin added, “As a successful business you have a responsibility to help give back and support your communities. I do that in my own business and our Tribes do that. That’s a founding belief that we have. Because if it were not for the communities, we would not be here.”

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