Gun Lake Casino and Gun Lake Tribe giving $2.5 million sponsorship to Special Olympics

Collaborator: Rachael Schuit
Published: 03/30/2023, 7:12 PM
Edited: 04/03/2023, 2:02 AM

Photo Credit: Special Olympics Michigan

(KENT COUNTY, Mich.) The Gun Lake Casino and Gun Lake Tribe have agreed to a $2.5 million sponsorship agreement with Special Olympics Michigan. 

The money will go towards the world's largest Special Olympics Training Facility located in Grand Rapids. 

"We are proud to be among their flagship investments that is making this training, competition, and general inclusion center a reality right here in Michigan," said Tim Hileman, the President & CEO of Special Olympics Michigan. 

The first phase of construction for the Unified Sports & Inclusion Center was finished in December of 2022. 

Phase two will start this summer and it will include completing the Outdoor Sports Complex. 

“This partnership with Special Olympics Michigan is a natural extension of Gun Lake Tribe’s commitment to building an inclusive community,” said Gun Lake Tribe Chairman, Bob Peters. “We are proud to join forces with such a powerful movement and help manifest its mission within the Unified Sports and Inclusion Center- a world first!” 

Since 2011, the Gun Lake Casino and Gun Lake Tribe have donated nearly $5 million to civic organizations in West Michigan. 

“Our investments aim to strengthen the community’s ability to attract visitors, provide unique entertainment, and create jobs," said Sal Semola, CEO of Gun Lake Casino (GLC) . "The Special Olympics Michigan Unified Sports & Inclusion Center will do all of that with its ability to host sporting competitions, as well as conferences. Most important to us, however, is that it will do that through the eyes and experience of a truly diverse and inclusive population of people, who will play, learn, and work there. It’s a very unique and important addition to the Western Michigan community.” 

The Unified Sports & Inclusion Center currently has ten tenants. 

The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake Tribe) is part of the historic Three Fires Confederacy, an alliance of the Pottawatomi (Bodewadmi), Ottawa (Odawa) and Chippewa (Ojibwe). Tribal Nations in the Great Lakes region are also known as the Neshnibek, or original people. 


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