(Yonkers, NY) — In a community effort now in its second decade, Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway and its President and CEO, Timothy J. Rooney, celebrate the 12thanniversary of the Christmas Spirit Coat and Toy Drive to assist families in need during the holiday season. The giving program begins on November 15 and continues through December 15. Donations will be accepted every day throughout the period at any of the casino’s promotions booths.
Patrons are asked to bring new, unwrapped toys and/or new or gently used coats. The items will be donated to Catholic Charities and the Yonkers-based Aisling Irish Community Center to assist the organizations’ local families this upcoming holiday season.
The Coat and Toy Drive has become a holiday tradition at Empire City Casino for the past 11 years with more than 10,000 toys and 3,500 coats donated since 2007.
“There are no greater deeds than charity and service,” says Rooney. “No act of kindness or generosity is ever too small.”
“Each December, we receive wonderful donations of toys and warm coats from Empire City Casino,” stated Sister Christine, a Sister of Mercy for Catholic Charities. “We are able to distribute the items to families-in-need in the neighborhood, helping make Christmas a happy holiday for so many who would not be able to have had one without the generosity of Empire City and its patrons.”
Josh Blake, President of Costa Mesa, California-based Gander Group, will once again donate a truckload of toys as he has each year. Blake has donated more than 10,000 toys to the drive throughout the years, which have transformed Christmas mornings for thousands of local children who may have otherwise gone without one if it was not for his incredible generosity.
“Our organization is honored to participate in this cause,” says Blake. “Bringing smiles to the faces of children and their parents is the highlight of this season for me. We are humbled by the generosity of this community and are committed to helping any way we can.”
In addition, this year kathy ireland® Worldwide joins as a contributor to the drive through the brand’s partnership with Gander Group.
“We are thrilled to join Gander Group and Empire City Casino, in their effort and determination to make the Holiday Season a happy one for struggling families, and especially their young ones,” says entrepreneur/philanthropist, Kathy Ireland®, Chair, CEO and Chief Designer of kiWW®. “I urge everyone to join our mission in ensuring that every child this Holiday Season has a coat to warm their body and Christmas toys to warm their spirit.”
Though Westchester County is often considered to be an affluent and wealthy community because of its median income of $86,226, there are still extreme pockets of poverty (nearly 10 percent living in poverty) including many residents under the age of 17 ().
Empire City Casino is located at 810 Yonkers Avenue (at Central Avenue) in Yonkers, NY. For additional information on the casino, Coat and Toy Drive, and directions visitor call 914 968-4200.