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Palms launches community outreach program with $1.2M in grants

The new leadership at the Palms wants to give back to the community through a new grant-giving program.

The San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority awarded 30 Southern Nevada nonprofits with a total of $1.2 million in grants on Thursday, as part of its new Palms Cares community outreach program. Grants ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 were given to various organizations including Opportunity Village, Green Our Planet and Culinary Academy of Las Vegas.

Latisha Casas, chairwoman of the Gaming and Hospitality Authority, said giving has been prioritized for the organization even before it purchased the off-Strip resort in late 2021, becoming the first site fully-owned and operated by a Native American tribe.

The charities chosen run the gamut of causes supported by the tribe: education, empowering lives, health and resiliency support, and cultural traditions.

“The tribe back at home also focuses on those areas, so we wanted to make sure that we captured those and supported the same types of organizations,” Casas said during an interview earlier this month.

Culinary Academy of Las Vegas received the largest grant at $250,000, Palms officials said.

“This grant will enable us to upgrade our classroom kitchen equipment to provide the best, most industry-relevant training experience and better prepare our students for successful careers in hospitality,” Edmund Wong, CEO of the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, said in a statement.

Other funded programs include The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, for patient and caregiver services; Alliance For A Just Society, for its Tribal Minds Governance Project; Project 150, for scholarships and food distribution; and Unshakeable, for its Empower to Employ program.

Palms Cares is expected to be an annual program targeting different organizations. Resort staff will also be encouraged to have a presence with the community partners, Casas said, and resort leadership will be working on a diversity, equity and inclusion plan to follow its impact.

“The reason why giving is super important to us as tribal people is because for a long time we were supported by the kindness of others that helped us when we lived in poverty,” Casas said. “We really depended on that help. When we came into a position of being able to help others, we wanted to make sure that we did.”

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.

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