Pokagon Band donates proceeds from Four Winds Invitational to Beacon Children’s Hospital

Published 2:31 pm Monday, November 23, 2020

SOUTH BEND — The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi recently announced that it has donated $62,220 in proceeds from the 2020 Four Winds Invitational to Beacon Children’s Hospital.

The donation will be used to help fund the purchase of Centrella Smart+ Beds, which will be placed in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Beacon Children’s Hospital to improve patient mobility and prevent pressure injuries, which can lead to infection and increased length of stay.

The 2020 Four Winds Invitational, part of the Symetra Tour – Road to the LPGA, was hosted from Friday, Sept. 4 through Sunday, Sept. 6 at Blackthorn Golf Club. The Pokagon Band has donated $734,720 to Beacon Health System over the last nine years that is has hosted the tournament.

“Despite the continued health, safety and economic challenges caused by COVID-19, we are very pleased that we were still able to complete our ninth annual Four Winds Invitational tournament this year,” said Matthew Wesaw, Tribal Chairman of the Pokagon Band and CEO of Pokagon Gaming Authority.  “Donating the proceeds from the Four Winds Invitational is just one of many ways we provide support to Michiana and South Bend communities, and we hope that this year’s donation to help purchase Centralla Smart+ Beds will further enhance the quality of care Beacon Children’s Hospital delivers to all the children and families it serves.”

Frank Freedman, Chief Operating Officer of Four Winds Casinos added he was also pleased with the donation.

“In speaking on behalf of my fellow Four Winds team members, we are very proud to have been able to plan and organize the Four Winds Invitational for the last nine years,” he said. “Even though the tournament looked completely different this year, there was still the same high level of enthusiasm from our employees, sponsors and players, which helped us complete another successful event.”

Representatives of Beacon Health said they were grateful to the Pokagon Band for once again donating to their hospital.

“On behalf of everyone at Beacon Health System, and most importantly our pediatric patients, we want to thank the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Four Winds Casinos, and Blackthorn Golf Club for their commitment to children in our community,” said Susan King, president of the Beacon Health Foundation. “Today the need is greater than ever, and their partnership helps us provide children and families in our region with hope and healing close to home.”

“The Four Winds Invitational is firmly established as one of the premier events on the LPGA Symetra Tour and despite the various challenges caused by COVID-19, including having to reschedule the tournament for a later date, completing the tournament was a testament to the commitment of the Pokagon Band and its Four Winds Casinos to give back to the community,” said Tim Firestone, CEO of Blackthorn Operating Group.  “It truly was a great collaborative effort by everyone involved, while still making it enjoyable for the players.”

The Centrella Smart+ Bed is designed to help keep patients safe and simplify how caregivers work.  It has advanced verbal and visual notifications and is designed with a scalable platform, providing the ability to add additional features.  The mattress helps redistribute the weight of patients and also helps remove heat and reduce moisture build-up that can also lead to skin breakdown.  The beds will also assist in sitting up patients who are intubated and requiring ventilator support, which significantly improves their respiratory function and decreases the likelihood of ventilator associated pneumonia, officials said.

In previous years, Beacon Health System has used funds from the Four Winds Invitational to help build a multi-story building above the Memorial Leighton Trauma Center for the General Pediatrics Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Newborn Intensive Care unit, and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic.  Funds have also enabled Beacon Children’s Hospital to purchase a pediatric ambulance, a portable ultrasound for the hospital’s MedFlight program, an incubator and giraffe warmers for the NICU, patient simulators to assist with educating and training area pediatric healthcare professionals, and power lifts for the pediatric ambulances.