Choctaw Nation gives $443,911.33 to Red Cross

9-16-05 - The Choctaws have come through in a big way in their effort to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Chief Gregory E. Pyle has presented a check for $443,911.33 to representatives of the American Red Cross.

"This donation comes from a combination of tribal and community generosity," Pyle said. "The Choctaw Nation devoted one of our biggest days of gaming in history, Labor Day, to the fundraiser."

All of the profits from that entire day of play on gaming machines in all seven tribal casinos were donated. In addition, a full week of profit from fuel sales at thirteen travel centers, several special bingo games and donations gathered at tribal facilities and during the big Choctaw Festival were added to the pot.

"This amount is more than double the dollars we were able to raise for the tsunami relief last winter," Pyle said. "I am very impressed with the kindness from individuals who have put money in the donation jars and mailed in checks to give to the Red Cross for this effort."

"This is the largest single amount we have ever received," Red Cross Executive Director Billie Cathey said. "This money will go a long way toward food, clothing and housing for people in need."