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Chef Michael McFarlen honored with the Beacon of Light Award

(Battle Creek, MI.) December 1, 2015 –FireKeepers Casino Hotel is excited to announce that Chef Michael McFarlen, Vice President of Food and Beverage, has been honored with the Food Bank Council of Michigan’s Beacon of Light Award. He was nominated by the Food Bank of South Central Michigan, an organization he works closely with, located in Battle Creek.

Each year, members of the Food Bank Council of Michigan, have an opportunity to recognize someone special that serves as a “Beacon of Light”, in local hunger relief efforts. Chef McFarlen was chosen as this year’s winner.

“Being in the foodservice industry it is evident how many people go without eating due to economic situations, especially in Michigan’s economy,” states Chef McFarlen. “Working for a company like FireKeepers Casino Hotel has given me the time and opportunities to pursue a long time passion for giving back.”

Chef McFarlen first began volunteering in the Southwest Michigan area after relocating to Marshall/Battle Creek in early 2009.  Chef McFarlen participates in a wide variety of events and organizations to help feed children, first responders, and the hungry. These charities and organizations include, The Food Bank of South Central Michigan, The Boys and Girls Club of Kalamazoo, S.A.F.E Place Shelter, the Red Cross of Battle Creek, Salvation Army, Pennfield Schools and many other organizations throughout southwest Michigan.

“Chef McFarlen’s outstanding efforts and commitment to ending hunger do not go unnoticed,” states Dr. Phillip Knight, Executive Director of Food Bank Council of Michigan.  “Food Bank Council of Michigan sees people and organizations throughout the state that inspire others with a commitment to their food bank.  These ‘Beacons of Light’ make a lasting impact in the community and deserve to be recognized for it.” 

Chef McFarlen received his award on November 19 at a special awards ceremony that took place at the Country Club of Lansing.

Chef McFarlen was also recently named as a finalist for Volunteer of the Year by the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC). The MCSC has been the state’s leading agency in volunteerism since its inception in 1991. The MCSC is made up of 26 commissioners, including Governor Rick Snyder.

“Since moving to the Battle Creek area, Chef Michael McFarlen has been an excellent example of what it means to give back to the community”, states FireKeepers CEO, Brian Decorah. “Here at FireKeepers, we couldn’t be more proud that he is being recognized for his efforts in the community.”

FireKeepers Casino Hotel is located just off Interstate 94 at Exit 104 in Battle Creek, Mich. The property features a 111,700-square foot gaming floor with 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 capable of seating up to 2,000 guests, six distinctive dining destinations, multiple lounges and entertainment venues. FireKeepers is the title sponsor of the June Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, the FireKeepers Casino 400.

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