Poarch Band Covers Funeral Costs of Alabama Tornado Victims

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians will cover the costs of 23 funerals for victims of the recent tornado that devastated Lee County, Alabama. The Tribe is donating $184,000 to the East Alabama Medical Center Foundation for the burials.

“It is at times of greatest need that we often see our communities coming together to help one another, this is one of those times. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected,” Stephanie A. Bryan, Tribal Chair and CEO, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, said in a Facebook post.

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris added: “The monies will be deposited with the East Alabama Medical Center Foundation to be dispersed to the funeral homes to cover the cost of the funerals. I am so thankful for them to step up in this manner and help the families of this tragedy.”

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians — the only federally recognized Tribe in Alabama — regularly supports community causes.

The Tribe owns 9 gaming properties in the South, Nevada and the Caribbean — including three casinos on the Tribe’s reservation in Alabama. The Tribe is also in the process of buying the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Pennsylvania for an estimated $1.3 billion. 

“Diversification of our business efforts across regions is an important part of our strategy,” James Dorris, chief executive and president of Tribal gaming venture Wind Creek Hospitality, previously told Native Business Magazine.

RELATED: Poarch Band Acquisition of the Sands Resort is On Track for Approvals

The sale of Sands Casino from Las Vegas Sands Corp. to Wind Creek Hospitality still requires Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approval.

Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez is on board. “The prospective owners have already indicated they will make an immediate investment of $190 million in the area, in the form of a new hotel and the renovation of Machine Shop 2,” Donchez said in his recent State of the City address. “This is the most positive news we’ve had for that site in years, and I look forward to a strong working relationship with the new owners.”

The Tribe’s other properties include Wind Creek Atmore, Wind Creek Wetumpka, and Wind Creek Montgomery in Alabama, Wa She Shu Casino in Nevada, Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, and Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino as well as racetracks in Alabama and Florida.