The Foundations were formed in September 1997, as two nonprofit, private foundations funded with river boat money from Showboat, now Harrah’s East Chicago Casino. The Foundations were an outcome of Mayor Robert A. Pastrick’s Task Force on Gaming.  The two foundations were designed with specific purposes: one with a community focus, and the other with an educational focus.

The Foundations are funded by the East Chicago casino, which gives a percentage of its gross adjusted revenue, as stipulated in the Local Development Agreement (LDA).

The Foundations serve the people of East Chicago, Indiana through a Board of Directors consisting of local residents and business persons.  Mayor Robert A. Pastrick stated: “Harrah’s East Chicago Casino’s commitment to our community is second to none.”

The Foundations of East Chicago have evolved drastically in the last two decades.  From its early beginnings, it has always been dedicated to improving the lives of residents in East Chicago.  The Foundations continued to share and leverage resources.  Their staff served both the East Chicago Community Development Foundation, Inc. and the Twin City Education Foundation, Inc.  These were two separate organizations sharing staff and, as such, their staff worked to implement each mission to the fullest potential, eliminating duplication, and maximizing community benefit.