(Battle Creek, Mich.) July 19, 2016 – FireKeepers Casino Hotel is honored to be named a 2017 Corporate Community Leader by Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC). The MCSC has been the state’s leading agency in volunteerism since its inception in 1991. The Corporate Community Leader award honors corporations and businesses that excel in community involvement and demonstrate excellent corporate citizenship by giving back to their community in a variety of ways.

Since opening in 2009, FireKeepers team members have made a positive impact on over 40,000 lives. FireKeepers partners with several local charities, including S.A.F.E. Place Women’s Shelter, the Food Bank of South Central Michigan, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Charitable Union. Through these partnerships, the FireKeepers team has provided nearly 100,000 pounds of food to those in need, raised over $60,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo and donated more than 3,000 volunteer hours to S.A.F.E. Place. The latest and more progressive project, The Fire Hub, is a FireKeepers-owned entity that has transformed a historic Battle Creek fire house into a restaurant, along with a community food bank and gardens located on nearby tribal land to grow food for local schools.

“We take our strong community focus from our owners, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi. Supporting our community and improving the lives of our local residents is important to every person who works here and should be a source of great pride and satisfaction,” stated FireKeepers CEO Kathy George. “Building a positive influence is our number one goal.”

FireKeepers is no stranger to the Governor's Service Awards. Last year, Michael McFarlen, FireKeepers Vice President of Food and Beverage, was a recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award.

Other 2017 winners include:
Gov. George Romney Lifetime Achievement Award: Evelyn Brown (Detroit)
Lifetime Humanitarian Award: Richard Garber (Saginaw), William Holmes (Ypsilanti), Larry Hines (Muskegon), John Barfield (Ann Arbor)
Volunteer of the Year: Bonnie Raffaele (Sault Ste. Marie), Treger Strasberg (Birmingham), Tarence Wheeler (Farmington Hills), Sherman Neal (Detroit)
Senior Volunteer of the Year: James Bennett (Hamburg), Patricia Dishaw (Crystal Falls), William DeChavez (Sterling Heights), James Feliciano (Marquette), Magnolia Bodley (Kalamazoo)
Youth Volunteer of the Year: Abigail and Lillian Diuble (Manchester), Robby Eimers (New Haven), Mac-Rufus Umeokolo (Bloomfield Hills), Aidan Sova (Jackson), Neha Seshadri (Ann Arbor), Sarah Maisano (Clinton Township)
Mentor of the Year: Paula C. Dirkes (Berkley), GM Cares team – Dawin Wright (Rochester Hills), Marilyn Gripper (Southfield) and Tom Parkhill (Rochester Hills), Eric Miller (Detroit), Samuel Wells (Flint), Bobby Johnson (Detroit)
Outstanding Volunteer Program: Crim Fitness Foundation (Flint), Accounting Aid Society (Detroit), IM Kids 3rd Meal (Ionia/ Montcalm), Bryan’s HOPE (Waterford), Henry Ford Allegiance Health (Jackson)
Outstanding National Service Program: Power of We (Lansing), AmeriCorps Urban Safety Program (Detroit), MI GEAR UP VISTA (Mt. Pleasant), Michigan’s Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps Program (statewide)
Corporate Community Leader: FireKeepers Casino Hotel (Battle Creek), Comcast (statewide), Emergent BioSolutions (Lansing), Griffin Properties (Grand Rapids), Whirlpool (St. Joseph), Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union (Alpena)
Education Service Leader: Mott Community College (Flint), Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo), Books for Benefits (University Of Michigan, University Of Michigan- Dearborn, Michigan State University and Wayne State University) Troy Athens High School (Troy), Cody Rouge Action Alliance (Detroit), Ionia Youth Advisory Council (Ionia)

“These individuals and organizations are role models for other people to follow. The impact they have on other people’s lives is incredible,” Snyder said. “They show us how to overcome obstacles and do good things for other people. They demonstrate tremendous spirit and we are thrilled to recognize them.”

The Governor’s Service Awards winners will be honored during a special ceremony hosted by the Michigan Community Service Commission on Monday, Aug. 21, at the Detroit Opera House. The event will also commemorate the Michigan Community Service Commission’s 25th anniversary.


FireKeepers Casino Hotel, located just off Interstate 94 at Exit 104 in Battle Creek, MI, has been named Best Casino by audiences in Western Michigan and Northern Indiana, plus earned 9 first place awards in the Casino Player Magazine Best of Gaming 2015 Native Midwest category, including Best Overall Gaming Resort. FireKeepers was also selected one of the Best Casinos to Work For by Casino Player Magazine. Our signature restaurant, Nibi, is a multiple recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. The property features 2,900 slot machines, 70 table games, a live poker room and bingo room. FireKeepers offers a AAA-rated Four Diamond resort-style hotel with 243 rooms, a functional multi-purpose event center, six distinctive dining destinations, and multiple lounges. FireKeepers is the title sponsor of the FireKeepers Casino 400, a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, and host of the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship a Symetra Tour-Road to the LPGA golf event.  For more information visit

FireKeepers Casino Hotel is owned and operated by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi.

The Governor's Service Awards ceremony is an annual statewide recognition event acknowledging the contributions made by Michigan volunteers. The event is coordinated by the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC), the state’s lead agency on volunteerism. The MCSC strives to engage all Michigan residents in volunteerism to address critical community challenges.
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