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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


December 27, 2003 - Issue 103


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Morongo Tribal Members to Bring Christmas to Cabazon School Children


by Nicole Ratcliff for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians


Credits: photo - Happy Kids

Happy KidsCABAZON, Calif. -- On Friday, December 19, 271 students at the Cabazon Elementary School will receive an exciting early Yuletide celebration when Santa Claus and helpers from the Morongo tribe come to call.

Morongo Band of Mission Indian volunteers will give each student a Christmas stockings stuffed with candy and fruit, a backpack brimming with school supplies and a $50 dollar grocery store gift certificate.

Morongo tribal members and volunteers French Miguel, Barbara Calderon, Virginia Lyons, Mary Lopez, Amber Soza, Anita Soza and Lisa Goad will also be bringing Christmas cupcakes and refreshments for the children.

The Morongo tribe has also committed more than $75,000 in holiday donations to local charities including San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital Foundation, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Foundation, Prison to Peace Outreach, Indian Child & Faith Preservation, Trinity Foster Care, Emmanuel Unique Outreach Partners, Morongo Faith Chapel Food Ministry, Agua Caliente Elementary School, Veronica’s Home of Mercy, Cherry Valley Brethren School, Ken Hobbs Memorial Little League, Hoffer Elementary School, All Community Pantry, Mission Worship Center, Junior League of Riverside, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Debbie Chisholm Memorial Foundation, Sunnymead Middle School and Shop With A Cop Program.

“With the economy still sluggish coming into this holiday season the Morongo Outreach Committee felt it was important to help the children of our community,” said Anne Hutton, tribal council member and outreach committee chair.

This marks the second year in a row that the Morongo tribe will be donating Christmas gifts to the students at Cabazon Elementary School. The Morongo volunteers will also be handing out the refreshments as Santa Claus visits each of the students at the school.

“The Morongo volunteers were so excited last year to see all the children’s smiling faces and heartfelt appreciation that we felt it was important to do it again this year,” said Hutton. “We know what it’s like to have a lean Christmas and now that we have the means to help others we believe it is important to share with our community.”

Cabazon Elementary School Principal John Curtis said, “This is a new tradition for our students and a welcome one. Morongo tribal members are making sure these kids all get to experience the real spirit of Christmas.”

At Thanksgiving, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians donated $1 million dollars to the American Red Cross Riverside Chapter and also provided early hot-turkey meals to more than 5,000 evacuees over seven days as a result of the Southern California wildfires. Additionally, the tribe donated 3,000 turkeys to 37 Riverside area charities to help provide approximately 10,000 meals for local area residents.

The Morongo tribe is the largest private sector employer in the Banning-Beaumont region and a major contributor to the Coachella Valley economy. The tribe presently employs more than 2,000 people in both gaming and non-gaming tribal operations.

For further information, please contact , +1-916-996-0998, for Morongo Band of Mission Indians.

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