Pokagon Band hosts Four Winds Invitational media day

Published 6:06 pm Thursday, June 27, 2024

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and its Four Winds Casinos hosted a media day Thursday at South Bend Country Club as part of the build up to the 2024 Four Winds Invitational.

During the press conference, Beacon Children’s Hospital announced its plan to purchase 20 new syringe feeding pumps for its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) using proceeds from the tournament.  The syringe feeding pumps used in the NICU are medical devices that deliver nutrition to patients who are unable to take breast milk or formula orally.  The media were also invited to play South Bend Country Club’s highly-ranked golf course.

“The Pokagon Band and our Four Winds Casinos are very proud of our longtime sponsorship of the Four Winds Invitational, which has generated close to $1,000,000 in proceeds for Beacon Health System and Beacon Children’s Hospital over the last 12 years,”  Tribal Chairwoman for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Rebecca Richards said. “We are looking forward to the 13th edition of the tournament this year and appreciate the continued support from the South Bend community, including the City of South Bend, our sponsors, vendors, volunteers, team members, as well as our partners, the LPGA’s Epson Tour and South Bend Country Club.”

Mary Smith, chief operating officer of Four Winds Casinos added, “Including this year’s purse of $262,500, we have offered over $1.7 million in prize money since we began hosting the Four Winds Invitational in 2012.  Having the tournament proceeds go to Beacon Children’s Hospital, has made the Four Winds Invitational extra special not only for the players, but also everyone involved in supporting the tournament.”

City of South Bend Mayor James Mueller said, “The City of South Bend is grateful for its government-to-government relationship with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi and their long-term support of important community resources like Beacon Children’s Hospital,” said Mayor James Mueller. “Ensuring families and children get access to the care they need is a key priority, and we look forward to another great Four Winds Invitational this year.”

Jen Tonkovich, director of Women and Children’s Services for Beacon Health System said, “We would like to thank the Pokagon Band, its Four Winds Casinos, South Bend Country Club and its members, as well as all of the sponsors and donors from the South Bend community for their continued generous support over the years.  Receiving the proceeds from the Four Winds Invitational has not only helped us better serve children and families in the region, but also helped us plan for the future in ways we can continue to improve our quality of care.  This year’s contribution will enable us to expand our portfolio of life-saving and maternal care equipment.”

The Four Winds Invitational is part of the Epson Tour, which entered its 44th year of structured competition in 2024 and is the most established women’s qualifying tour in the world as the one “Road to the LPGA.”  The tournament will take place from Friday, Aug. 30 through Sunday, Sept. 1 at South Bend Country Club. Volunteers are needed to fill a variety of roles including assisting with scoring duties and serving as building attendants, caddies, cart drivers, driving range attendants, food and beverage servers, marshals and spotters, parking attendants, standard bearers, shuttle drivers, and more.

“South Bend Country Club is very excited to host the 2024 Four Winds Invitational,” Greg Helmkamp, general manager and head golf professional at South Bend Country Club said. “The caliber of our golf course and facilities, coupled with the enthusiasm from the players and support of our members and volunteers, will help make the 13th edition of the Four Winds Invitational, the best tournament yet.”

For more information and to complete the volunteer application, please visit http://fourwindsinvitational.com/volunteer/

For questions regarding volunteer opportunities, please contact Steve Infalt, Four Winds Invitational Volunteer Coordinator at fwivolunteer@southbendcc.com