Casino donates to Salvation Army

Photo by Alan Olson Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack regional president Kim Florence, right, presents a check for $6,883.38 to Salvation Army Captain Jennifer Van Meter.

WHEELING — Some lucky children will have their summer vacation plans comped, thanks to a donation from the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack.

The casino made a donation of $6,883.38 to the Salvation Army through the “Game Changer” program, a rotating donation series where associates can make a $5 donation each Friday to wear casual dress, supplemented with donations of uncashed casino or racing vouchers. Regional president Kim Florence presented the donation to Salvation Army Captain Jennifer Van Meter on Tuesday morning.

Van Meter said the donation would go toward the Salvation Army’s summer Camp Happy Land, allowing children to attend a summer camp free of charge.

“We are so appreciative for this contribution from the casino. These funds will assist us in sending community kids to summer camp,” Van Meter said. “We have a summer camp that’s located in Virginia, but it’s open to our community kids. … This money will enable us to take those kids without having to charge the kids to be there for a week.”

“We’ll take them there, they’ll spend a week in the great outdoors, sleeping in a cabin, fishing, hiking. There’s all kinds of outdoor activities that they can do for an entire week,” she added.

The casino regularly conducts the Game Changer program to collect for local charitable organizations. Through January, February and March, the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley will receive the next batch of donated funds. Florence said the program began last year and has had a great impact locally.

“The Game Changer program kicked off in the beginning of 2021, and we’ve been doing this all year long,” she said. “We’re really happy to be providing the Salvation Army with our final contribution for the year. A little over $6,800 will go toward the programs they have available for kids coming up this summer.”

Additionally, the Hotel-Casino-Racetrack will be holding a blood drive from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, with the goal of collecting 200 units of blood. The event is held in partnership with the American Red Cross, and comes as the Red Cross reports a severe blood shortage.

“The American Red Cross has been working really hard. We really encourage anyone that has an interest to take the time (to come down),” Florence added. “It really is a great thing for people in need, and we’re really happy to be a part of it.”

Also, the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack held a job fair Tuesday which will continue today from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Openings are available at a variety of departments at the casino.


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