PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation awarded nine Southwest Washington nonprofits with grants totaling more than $2.5 million during the Annual Holiday tree Lighting Ceremony at ilani Casino Resort Wednesday. 

Members of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and the community gathered at the event to honor the grant recipients and reflect on their contributions. 

“Each year the Cowlitz Indian Tribe is honored to support not-for-profit organizations dedicated to lifting up and strengthening our communities,” said Cowlitz General Council Chair Patty Kinswa-Gaiser. “We are proud to partner with these nine recipients who demonstrate the true meaning of giving.” 

Wednesday’s tree lighting ceremony featured an introduction and blessing by Kinswa-Gaiser and comments by the Cowlitz Tribal Foundation board members. 

The grants were awarded to Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue, The Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Washington, The Vancouver Housing Authority, LaCenter School District, The Lions Club of Ridgefield, Woodland Food Bank, Santa’s Posse, Chai Rivers Recovery Café, and Bonney Lake Food Bank. 

“The Cowlitz Indian Tribe believes these grants, which we are so honored to be able to donate through the Cowlitz Tribal Foundation, help foster both families and communities,” said Cowlitz Tribal Foundation Manager Timi Marie Russin. 

After the tree lighting ceremony, the celebration continued at ilani’s Stadium Sports Bar & Grill with a holiday movie and refreshments.