At Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake, we understand that our responsibilities include giving back to the community that has so richly enhanced all our lives. We’re proud neighbors to Lake County and consider our partnership with our surrounding community to be one of our greatest assets. We’ve given to those in need around the county not only because we feel compelled to do so but also to enhance the lives of our friends in the region.

Thanks to our own economic development, we’ve been fortunate enough to be in a position to give back and express our gratitude and commitment to those who have done so much for us. In several different areas, we’ve been able to assist financially to enhance lives and bring people together. Youth sports is among the best ways to unite the community. Our children learn teamwork and good sportsmanship while developing a sense of local pride and unity. We know that when you’re giving to youth organizations, it isn’t only a contribution to a local program-it’s an investment in our future. When we learned that the athletic field at Upper Lake High School needed help, we were more than happy to step up.

Those who live in the area know how hot it can get in the dog days of summer. The school’s sports teams were holding practices and games in over 100 degree heat, putting the health of young team members and fans in jeopardy. Without lights for the playing field, they were unable to play or practice at night in cooler temperatures. For us, it was an easy choice to help out with a $130,000 donation to the lighting installation drive, so night games and practices could happen at Upper Lake. This capped off a decade-long fundraising project to which we’re extremely honored to have contributed.

We’re proud to be associated with Lake County, and we know that county officials feel the same way about their community. Promoting the county will bring in needed tourism dollars, which in turn helps out local businesses and families. That’s why we donated $25,000 to the County Administration in order to help promote Lake County’s marketing efforts, a contribution described as “above and beyond” by County Administrative Officer Carol Huchingson. A boost was necessary to spread the message of the county around the area, and we were happy to provide it.

Our donations have provided needed assistance to the local services that keep Lake County a great place to live and work. We have always been more than happy to help out those who serve our community, like when we presented $25,000 contributions to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and to the County itself to show our appreciation for all that they do. These funds have gone directly towards making the county safer and more efficiently run. We consider that just another component of being a good neighbor.

Not to be forgotten, our brave firefighters of the Northshore Fire Protection District, suffering from budget shortfalls, gained needed assistance from Upper Lake in the form of an $80,000 contribution to be used to fund a new position, preventing them from needing to outsource the job. We’re glad to help promote job growth in such a beneficial field. As District Chief Jay Beristianos put it, “We have the best job in the world, and when we have the support of groups like the tribe and the casino, it makes it that much better.” It’s all part of our mission to provide help to the people that have supported us for so many years.

Our partnership with the Lake County region is among the proudest achievements we’ve had in our time in operation. To be in a position to give back makes our mission much stronger. We plan on keeping this relationship strong for many years to come.