Chukchansi tribe hands out checks to community groups

The Fresno BeeApril 18, 2014 

CASINOS CHUKCHANSI

Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, near Coarsegold.

ERIC PAUL ZAMORA — THE FRESNO BEE Buy Photo

About 30 nonprofit groups are getting checks nearly $1 million from the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians under the tribe's agreement with Madera County.

The grants were held up earlier this year by ongoing legal wrangling between two tribal factions, but the money was distributed last week, officials with the Coarsegold-based group said.

This year's recipients include schools, animal welfare agencies, tribal organizations, churches and veterans groups.

Under a contract with the county, the tribe is obligated to donate $1 million annually to local groups.

Since the opening of Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, "Our tribe is proud to have provided millions of dollars in help to deserving organizations all across Madera County," Tex McDonald, chairman of the Coarsegold-based group, said in a prepared statement. "We know what this year's nearly $1 million in grants will mean to the recipients. We look forward to working with the county to ensure that this program continues to benefit the residents of Madera County."

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