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the msifn donates $530,000 to significant community organizations at yesterday's commemoration ceremony


September 16, 2016 – In a ceremony featuring Anishnawabe traditions, the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN) and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) commemorated the signing of nation to nation agreements that finalize the Great Blue Heron Casino’s (GBH) transition to a commercial casino. MSIFN also honoured its charitable arm, the Baagwating Community Association (BCA).

Despite GBH changing from a charitable casino to a commercial one, charitable giving will continue. MSIFN is immensely proud of the more than $13.5 million in donations contributed to worthy organizations thus far.

"As a council, we are so proud of the BCA’s hard work and dedication," said MSIFN’s Chief, Kelly LaRocca. "Since the inception of GBH, the MSIFN, through the BCA, has supported worthwhile causes. MSIFN donations will continue to be under the discretion of the First Nation as the GBH moves into this new phase for gaming. MSIFN will continue to give back to the community in which we live. We will continue to help those who need help."

In a surprise act of giving, the BCA provided four regional organizations with generous donations totaling more than half a million dollars. The Cancer Recovery Foundation of Canada, Grandview Children’s Hospital, Scugog Lake Stewards, and Port Perry Hospital were each presented with cheques from BCA board members.

"Grandview Children’s Centre is very grateful to the Baagwating Community Association for this incredible gift. Over the past 15 years Baagwating has supported Grandview Kids in important ways totaling cumulative gifts of $150,000. Today’s additional $100,000 gift will allow us to provide urgently needed supports and services to more children and youth with special needs and their families across our Durham community," said the Executive Director Lorraine Sunstrum-Mann. "The Baagwating Community Association is a very small group working tirelessly everyday – giving back to the community in a huge way. Not unlike the kids at Grandview who work tirelessly to meet their goals of full participation in life. Baagwating truly Inspired Possibilities today."

Under the new agreement, GBH will be a part of the gaming modernization efforts underway at OLG. This means the casino is one of three included in the "GTA gaming bundle". Following this changeover, the GBH will no longer be a charity casino but the First Nation looks forward to forming a new committee that will endeavour to continue the charitable work.

"The BCA board has worked tirelessly to identify charitable organizations and see that donations are made to the most deserving groups in and around the region," said Gary Edgar, Chair of the BCA Board. "We have been fortunate to have the ability to make donations that promote lasting change in our community and we intend on continuing this work as we look to form a new donation committee here at MSIFN."

MSIFN has been proudly running the GBH Charity Casino for nearly two decades. The GBH Charity Casino was financed, built and developed by MSIFN following a First Nation-Crown Agreement with Ontario, signed in 1993.

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For media inquiries:

Danielle Vinette-Woodcock

(905) 985-3337 ext. 241