Local Foundation gets benefit funds
Western Eagle receives large donation from Pechanga
November 24, 2003
By: JOHN HALL - Staff Writer - NCTimes.com
TEMECULA ---- The largest donation in the 10-year history of the Western Eagle Foundation was presented Monday to the Temecula-based organization that provides food to the needy worldwide.
The $47,500 donation comes from funds raised at the fifth annual Pechanga Resort & Casino Golf Benefit held in September.
"It's overwhelming," said Bob Sieja, Western Eagle's president and chief executive officer. "This will triple the amount of (refrigerated food items) we can handle."
The check, presented to Sieja at the resort Monday morning, is more than twice the amount of the largest single donation previously received by Western Eagle, Sieja said. That was a $20,000 donation in September 2001 from a private Temecula foundation, he said.
"This puts us into the next level, where we can handle more items and help more people," Sieja said.
More than 200,000 people are fed every month by food supplied by Western Eagle.
The food is distributed to a variety of organizations such as the Community Food Pantry in Murrieta, the North County Food Bank, the San Diego Rescue Mission and more than 100 others throughout Southern California.
Each year, the Pechanga Development Corporation selects a different charity as the beneficiary of funds raised at its annual golf tournament. Last year, funds were donated to the Inland Empire chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
This year, 184 golfers took part in the event held at Redhawk Golf Club in Temecula.
Sieja said the donation from the tourney will be used for long-term assistance.
"We are all set for the holidays," Sieja said. "We have enough food and toys for the holidays."
The donation, coming from a group such as Pechanga, Sieja said, "helps give us credibility and should really help us a lot in the future."
Western Eagle, which has been helping those in need for 10 years, has been based in Temecula for about four years. The organization has provided food, clothing and personal-hygiene items to the needy on an international level in places such as Armenia, Cambodia, Mexico, Russia and El Salvador.
We look forward to great growth and diversification of our tribal economy.
Pechanga is committed to bettering the lives of its people and the surrounding communities.
Learn how Pechanga has relied on nature to heal and nourish our people.