Hundreds of Local Students Given New Shoes, Backpacks and School Supplies by Morongo

Morongo Backpack Givaway Photo 1

Annual giveaway helps kids and their families get a head start on the upcoming school year. 

(BANNING, Calif. Aug. 1, 2018) – With the new school year fast approaching, 600 students in need from across the San Gorgonio Pass received new brand-name athletic shoes and new backpacks stuffed with classroom supplies, thanks to a $50,000 donation from the annual Morongo Charity Golf Tournament.

“We’re delighted at Morongo to be helping students and families in our communities,” said Damon Sandoval, who served as the golf tournament chairman. “The smiles on the kid’s faces today said it all, and we’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to those who made this year’s event possible by supporting the annual Morongo Golf Tournament.”

Kids and parents with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Gorgonio Pass met on Wednesday morning at the Club’s Ramsey Street building in Banning to pick up their free brand-name backpacks filled with notebooks, scissors, pencils, pens, erasers, highlighters and other supplies assembled by Morongo. The 600 students also received a t-shirt and 300 middle and high school students were given toiletry items such as shampoo, hair conditioner, body wash, deodorant and lotion. 

Morongo Backpack Givaway Photo 2

Many of the elementary and middle school students happily sported their new athletic shoes, which they picked up for free a few days earlier as part of the Morongo program.

Veronica Valdez of Cabazon was among many local parents who said the program is a huge help for local families supporting their children during tough financial times.

“Budgeting is hard, and we were worried about doing back to school shopping,” said Valdez. “Then Morongo came along with the backpacks and shoes and I am so thankful.”

Middle school student Aurihs Hernandez of Beaumont was excited for her new shoes that the program provided.

“I’ve always wanted high tops and now I finally have some,” Hernandez said. “I love my cupcake backpack and now I have everything I need for 7th grade.”

Amy Herr, chief executive officer of The Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Gorgonio Pass, said the annual program by Morongo provides an important boost for many families.

Morongo Backpack Givaway Photo 13

“This is the most exciting day of the year for me. Some of our members have never had a new backpack or new shoes to start the school year, and this program starts them out on the right foot while boosting their self-confidence,” Herr said. “Every year, Morongo steps up to help local kids and we truly appreciate the tribe’s generosity.”

Held at the beautiful Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon, the June tournament raised $50,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Gorgonio Pass and another $20,000 for The Unforgettables Foundation, which offers care to Inland families following the death of a child, as well as financial assistance to help pay for a dignified and respectful burial.

Since debuting in 1997, the Morongo Charity Golf Tournament has provided more than $1.25 million to programs serving veterans, children, schools and hospitals. The tournament is one of several annual events sponsored by the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, which donate more than $1 million annually to local and regional nonprofit organizations.

 

Photo 1 - Sisters Katelyn Perez (6th Grade) and Lisa Perez (4th Grade) of Yucaipa show off the new backpacks they received at the Morongo Show/Backpack Giveaway at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Gorgonio Pass.

 

Photo 2 - Jose Macias, a site director for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the San Gorgonio Pass, hands 4th grader Ace Borihanh of Banning his brand new backpack that he received from the annual Morongo Show/Backpack Giveaway on Aug. 1.

 

Photo 3 - 6th grader Ian Fowler of Cabazon holds up his new backpack and t-shirt received at the annual Morongo Show/Backpack Giveaway on Aug.1 at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the San Gorgonio Pass.