MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (CBS Connecticut and AP) – A reclusive tribal leader who laid the groundwork for the Foxwoods Resort Casino is making a rare appearance this weekend to receive an award.

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation is honoring Richard “Skip” Hayward with its first Lifetime Achievement Award at an event Saturday evening marking the casino’s 25th anniversary.

Hayward helped rally far-flung members of the tribe to create the country’s largest casino on its tiny reservation in southeastern Connecticut.

He served as tribal chairman during the casino’s boom years from 1975 to 1998. He has kept a low profile in recent years as the casino has struggled with the effects of overspending, the economic downturn and increased competition in the Northeast.

The tribe says Hayward is being recognized for his visionary leadership.

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