Sycuan demonstrates its strong commitment to the San Diego region year-round through the support of hundreds of civic and charitable organizations and has become a community landmark dedicated to making a difference in our San Diego communities. The tribe and the casino are philanthropic leaders year-round; contributing monetary or in-kind donations to over 700 organizations in 2015 alone!
But it is at the end of the year with the Gift Giving Ceremony that Sycuan’s leadership team including the Tribal Council, executive management and casino and resort directors are given the opportunity to choose one charity that they would like to highlight and support. As these charities are something that is near and dear to each of them from their own communities, many are first time charity partners of Sycuan. The total donated amount for this event alone exceeds $75,000 benefitting 30 charities!
The Gift Giving Ceremony began back in 2006 as another way to give back to important causes during the holiday season. Thirty local organizations are selected by Sycuan’s leadership team creating a great variation in beneficiaries. Included in the charities are those that support arts, children, education, animals, healthcare, human services, domestic violence, physical, developmental and movement disabilities and more. This diversity reflects the personality of the Sycuan team members and situations in their own micro-community. In addition, to the monetary donation, in several cases the Sycuan team member also sits on the beneficiaries’ board and is able to give the gift of time, talent and treasure throughout the year.
“The Gift Giving Ceremony is one of the biggest highlights of the year at Sycuan. We are proud to empower the leaders of the tribe, resort and the casino to make a difference in the community,” Cody J. Martinez, Chairman of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation tells Giving Back Magazine. This event exemplifies in one day the support and love of community that Sycuan has all year for our region and the importance of giving back at this very special time of year.
These gifts make a huge impact for these organizations. One group was in serious jeopardy of not being able to complete their annual toy drive due to lack of funds, and at their darkest moment, a call from Sycuan saved the day. Basketball superstar and local sports legend Bill Walton was on hand in support of Challenged Athletes Foundation and commented “Thank you Sycuan, you make dreams come true!”