Alabama-Coushatta Tribe Donates $500,000 for Hurricane Relief, Plans Additional Fundraising Party
The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, with Naskila Gaming, will continue the hurricane relief fundraising with the “Party in the Pines” event on Sunday, September 24 at the Tribe’s reservation near Livingston. All proceeds from the event, which begins at 5 PM and features barbeque and live music, will go to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund established by the Tribe.
Earlier this month, the Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Council announced the Tribe’s donation of $500,000 to 11 Texas counties affected by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. Harris County received $250,000 and the remaining $250,000 was allocated for 10 other southeast Texas counties. The following counties are included: Polk, Tyler, San Jacinto, Liberty, Jefferson, Hardin, Montgomery, Orange, Jasper and Newton.
In addition to the half million dollars directed to 11 counties, the Alabama-Coushatta reached out to vendors and business partners at Naskila Gaming and to Indian Tribes around the country to solicit additional funds. The responses have been positive and the Tribe’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund continues to grow.
“We are not done,” said Jo Ann Battise, chairperson of the Tribal Council, “I am pleased to announce we have been able to continue fundraising, along with Naskila Gaming and plan to reach out to other counties to help our neighbors who have been displaced and are suffering tremendous financial and emotional losses.”
The Tribe’s ability to make this generous contribution to their neighbors is due to the success of the Tribes’ Class II operation, Naskila Gaming. The rapid growth of the business has resulted in an expansion project that was completed this month. The original facility, which opened in May of 2016, is 15,000 square feet and features 365 electronic bingo games. The expanded facility adds another 15,000 square feet to accommodate a total of 800 electronic bingo machines. The additional machines are all Class II electronic bingo games as allowed under the ordinance approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission.
“Business has been very brisk since we opened a little more than a year ago. We realized that we need more space to accommodate the crowds. It is important to us that our guests are comfortable and have an enjoyable experience. The larger space will allow us to serve more patrons and keep the area accessible for persons with disabilities,” said Jo Ann Battise Chairperson for the Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Council.
The Alabama-Coushatta have been in southeast Texas since the 1780s, and recognized by the state of Texas, since the state gained independence from Mexico. Located in Polk County, near Livingston, the Tribe has deep ties in Southeast Texas.
“We’ve been here for hundreds of years, and have largely benefitted from the support and encouragement of our neighbors,” Battise said, “so we are honored to be in a position to help in the wake of this devastating storm.”