PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- - Five Coachella Valley charities received $175,000 in donations Monday morning.
The Agua Band of Cahuilla Indians raised the money at its annual golf tournament. Each member of the council chooses a charity, and the money raised is split evenly between them.
Each of the following charities received $35,000:
- The Barbara Sinatra Children's Center - Counseling programs for victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse
- The Boys and Girls Club, Cathedral City - After school programming for children
- The Boys and Girls Club, Indio Boxing Program - Training and classes with Champion Timothy Bradley and his staff
- Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Academy - Equine-assisted therapy for special needs children
- Nike N7 - Sports programs for local at-risk and disadvantaged youth including Native American and indigenous youth
Each charity expressed shock and gratitude following the reveal at the Spa Resort Casino Monday. It was and emotional morning for the recipients.
Director and Executive Officer of the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center John Thoresen says that with this donation, more children can be treated as soon as possible.
"With a child that's been sexually abused, we'll go ahead and triage them right away," says Thoresen, "but there are kids that are suffering from some kind of abuse, they don't know what it is, and we have to put them on a waiting list." He continues, "A donation like this helps us free up some time, and really get some of those kids off that waiting list."
Alma Guajardo, Cathedral City Boys and Girls Club Vice President, says the money will be used in daily operations.
"It will go towards upgrades to the facilities, which are very needed," says Guajardo, "and year round sports programs."
Champion boxer Timothy Bradley was blown away with the donation to the Indio Boys and Girls Club Boxing Program. Bradley had his head in his hands after the Tribe revealed the check. He says he knows about the overwhelming financial struggle for young boxers.
"It will help many boys and girls out there who will go and try out for different tournaments. That costs a lot of money, we all know," he says, "plane tickets, hotel rooms, equipment..."
The Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Academy says it's team is hoping to build a roof over its facility so disabled students can ride all year long, not just during cooperative weather. This donation will go directly toward those efforts.
For more information on the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, visit www.AguaCaliente.org.