The Pokagon Fund's Annual Reports
Photo Progress Through Partnerships

Annual Report 2016


Celebrating a decade of “Progress through Partnerships” is the theme of The Pokagon Fund’s 2016 Annual Report, which may be accessed by clicking this link. The report provides a year-end summary of the Fund’s activities in partnership with our grantees, a record of awards and issues supported during the 2015-2016 fiscal year and a description of the positive impact that our collective contributions have had on those served within Harbor Country, Dowagiac, Hartford and South Bend.

The centerpiece of our report is a reprise and overview of the remarkable improvements in the quality of life of the residents in the communities served by the Fund since the opening of the Four Winds Casino Resort in 2007. These enhancements have resulted from the generosity of the Pokagon Band, the foresight of the leaders of the City of New Buffalo and New Buffalo Township and the creativity of the many individuals and organizations that have joined in partnership with The Pokagon Fund on projects large and small.

We celebrate our collaborations with diverse community-based organizations that have accomplished extraordinary feats, including establishing beautiful public parks, feeding the hungry and increasing literacy among our youth. Examples include the development of Galien River County Park and its spectacular viewing tower, the daily provision of hot meals, grocery and personal items to our neighbors in need and construction of New Buffalo Township Library.

We extend a special note of gratitude to those charities that not only assist families and individuals living in poverty, but also track and provide services to residents who earn more than the poverty line but less than the basic cost of living. Often hidden from view, but known to these service providers, such low-income families are benefited by unwavering advocacy.

We know that reducing the overall rate of poverty is a public good that strengthens the middle class, enriches human capital by allowing greater access to higher education and increases family stability. Such projects are at the core of what The Pokagon Fund has meant to the communities it serves.

What has been learned from the achievements of the last ten years is that meaningful results are more likely to be attained when The Pokagon Fund partners with those who are embedded in the local community and have an unbridled dedication to the success of their projects. When there is open and honest communication, room around the table for all interested parties and a willingness to compromise to achieve a common goal, such partnerships have flourished.

With the future focus of the Fund’s resources centered on education, poverty reduction and community vitality, we are particularly excited about the recent launch of the Neighbor By Neighbor project, a local effort to connect individuals in need to social services. Led by the Church of the Mediator in Harbert, but open to all, the service will put local families in contact with the support agencies they need.

The Pokagon Fund looks forward to the next decade of innovative partnerships.

Please share your ideas. We want to hear from you.

Janet Cocciarelli

Executive Director

Photo Janet Cocciarelli