Kicking off IGA's annual tradeshow

IGA hosts annual Chairman Golf Classic to support Native Forward Scholars Fund

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The Indian Gaming Association (IGA) has kicked off its Annual Convention by hosting the Chairman's Golf Classic. The golf tournament was held to advance tribal education and to support the initiatives of the Native Forward Scholars Fund, which IGA describes as "a recognized leader" in empowering American Indian and Alaska Native students through higher education scholarships. 

The sold-out Chairman's golf tournament, held Tuesday at the landmark Tustin Ranch Golf Club in Tustin, California, is in conjunction with the 2024 Indian Gaming Association Tradeshow and Convention, which is taking place from April 8th to April 11th, 2024, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.
Hosted by IGA Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., the fundraising tournament brought together members of the gaming industry, tribal leaders, supporters of Native education, and various stakeholders who share "a common vision for uplifting Native communities encapsulated within the spirit of unity and the shared goal of creating brighter futures," the association stated.
"IGA, known for its staunch commitment to promoting and protecting the general welfare of tribes striving for self-sufficiency through gaming enterprises, highlighted the critical role education plays in achieving that mission," the association added.

"This partnership with Native Forward is a testament to our belief in the power of education as a cornerstone for progress. We are incredibly proud to support a fund that not just bolsters academic endeavors but nurtures the next generation of leaders within our Indian Country communities," stated Ernie Stevens, Jr., Chairman of the IGA. 
"Thanks to the generous contributions of attendees, sponsors, and partners, the event surpassed its fundraising goals, enabling Native Forward Scholars Fund to expand its scholarship offerings and support services," he added.
The IGA says that since its inception, Native Forward has become synonymous with "success" in Native American education, offering over $350 million in scholarships to over 20,000 students across the US. The fund boasts "a remarkable graduation rate" much higher than the national average for Native students, notes IGA.
"We are immensely grateful for the support of the Indian Gaming Association and all who participated in this momentous event," expressed Angelique Albert CEO of Native Forward Scholars Fund.

"Every contribution brings us closer to our vision of a world where every Native student achieves their dream of higher education, free from financial barriers. Together, we are not just funding scholarships but investing in the future leaders of Native communities and beyond."
The funds raised during the event will directly support scholarships, mentorship programs, and culturally relevant resources for American Indian and Alaska Native students nationwide. The focus is on easing the financial burden of higher education while fostering a sense of community and belonging among Indigenous scholars.
Sponsors of the Chairman's golf event included AGEM, White Hat Gaming, Key Bank, Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprises, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Novomatic, Interblock Luxury Gaming Products, Absolute, Ikasi, DraftKings and ICE Barcelona.

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