The City of Hammond’s Gaming Advisory Committee is set to award over $500,000 this year to qualifying non-profits, which will put the total amount of money awarded to over $11M since its inception. Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. started a de facto committee years ago. “When I first became mayor in 2004 non-profits would just call up and request gaming money to help them out. To be fair to all non-profits and to make the process more open and standardized, we set up an unofficial committee and that really helped,” said the mayor.
Since that time, the committee has become more formal, being enshrined in city ordinance as the Gaming Advisory Committee, with 11 members appointed by the mayor and council and chaired by Chief of Staff Phil Taillon. “We really enjoy reviewing the applications and as a group have come to realize how important these organizations are for residents of the city. They offer so many services and programs. Being able to help through the Gaming Advisory Committee has been very rewarding,” said Chairman Taillon. City ordinance puts aside four percent (4%) of net gaming revenue annually for the committee, allowing the community and the non-profits who apply to know that this funding is part of the annual city expenditures and will be around for the foreseeable future.
This year the Gaming Advisory Committee approved more than $523,000 to dozens of local not-for-profit organizations that bring direct benefits and/or services for the citizens of Hammond. Through this committee and its application process, organizations can apply for gaming dollars and explain to the committee the purpose for the request and the value they will bring to Hammond. The committee then reviews the applications and determines how best to spread the available funding to the greatest number of organizations.
Applications are generally available during the month of January and awards are made around April each year. Gaming Committee applications can be found on GoHammond.com and search Gaming Advisory Committee.