Delaware North’s regional gaming destinations collected 128,618 cans of food to feed hungry residents in their communities, thanks to a two-month campaign to mark the company’s 100th anniversary.
The “100,000 Cans of Care” campaign, which launched in early September and ended Nov. 7, had sought to collect that many cans of food via donations from employees, patrons and suppliers and other partners. The nearly 129,000 cans were recently donated to local food banks in each gaming location’s region.
The campaign was part of each gaming venue’s celebration of its parent company’s centennial. Delaware North, a global hospitality and food service company with a portfolio of successful regional gaming locations, was founded in 1915 as a small peanuts and popcorn concessions business by the Jacobs brothers in Buffalo, N.Y. The Jacobs family continues to own and operate the company today.
“Our employees and the patrons at our gaming venues and casinos embraced this effort, had a lot of fun with it and then helped us surpass the goal,” said Brian Hansberry, president of Delaware North’s gaming business. “We’re committed to making a difference in our communities all of the time, but we wanted to add to those ongoing efforts with something special for our 100th anniversary.”
Delaware North’s seven primary gaming destinations were among more than 100 of the company’s locations that held centennial celebrations – including at sports venues, airports, national parks, hotels, destination restaurants and TD Garden, the Boston arena owned and operated by Delaware North.
Below are highlights from each participating gaming location:
Southland Park Gaming & Racing, West Memphis, Ark. – Southland Park collected 93,673 food cans for Mid-South Food Bank, thanks to patrons, suppliers, partners and employees. Patrons donated more than 28,000 of the cans, and Southland Park employees donated nearly 10,000. Southland Park also collaborated with Flinn Broadcasting (Q107.5) to offer a trip to see Taylor Swift in Tampa, collecting 8,000 cans via drop-offs at Kroger, the retail food store chain. Several foundations and organizations that frequently work with Southland Park on charitable initiatives also made significant financial contributions toward purchasing canned food, including the Oakwood Foundation, Hagar Family Foundation and Arkansas Greyhound Association. Green Machine Concerts also made a contribution.
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack, Wheeling, W.Va. – Wheeling Island collected 14,216 cans to support eight local food pantries in collaboration with the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley. Patrons received one entry into free play giveaways for every three cans donated. Employees contributed by donating three cans to wear jeans and sports jerseys to work on Fridays. Wheeling Island’s corporate partners also chipped in, with Williams Energy collecting the most cans at 1,400 and winning an office party at The Pointe Sea & Steak restaurant at the casino. The Wheeling Nailers hockey team hosted a can collection night on Nov. 6 and handed out Wheeling Island T-shirts to every fan who donated.
The food pantries benefitting were the Salvation Army (three locations in West Virginia and Ohio), the House of the Carpenter (locations in Wheeling and Moundsville, W.Va.), the Wheeling Soup Kitchen, and Catholic Charities (two locations in Wheeling).
Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room, Daytona Beach, Fla. – Employees and guests of the Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room collected 4,086 food cans. About 1,000 cans were donated to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s food reclamation center, 1,500 cans to the Jerry Doliner Food Bank and 1,500 cans to the Halifax Urban Ministries Bridge of Hope hot meals program. On Oct. 12, during the venue’s official celebration of Delaware North’s 100th anniversary, guests bringing in a can of food or making a donation were entered into a drawing for four winners to enter the $2,000 “Green Machine.”
Jumer’s Casino & Hotel, Rock Island, Ill. – Jumer’s donated 3,234 food cans to River Bend Food Bank in nearby Davenport, Iowa, which serves the entire Quad Cities region. Jumer’s held “Jeans Days” for employees each Friday and held five associate drawings for prizes, donating all of the proceeds to the can drive.
Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack, Farmington, N.Y. – Finger Lakes collected 6,756 cans to benefit the Victor-Farmington Food Cupboard. Guests who donated were entered into weekly drawings for $50 Wegmans grocery gift cards. Finger Lakes employees who donated cans were entered into weekly drawings for $25 Wegmans gift cards. They also participated in an ice cream social and “Jeans Day Friday,” in which proceeds were used to buy more canned goods. The venue also made a significant donation to purchase cans.
The campaign was promoted through signage throughout the facility, email and direct mail pieces to more than 50,000 guests, and a Facebook app offering bonus giveaways for those who signed up via the app.
Hamburg Gaming, Hamburg, N.Y. – Hamburg Gaming collected 1,646 cans of food for the Food Bank of Western New York. Player reward members who donated a canned good received an entry into a weekly drawing for a $50 grocery gift card.
Miami Valley Gaming, Lebanon, Ohio – Miami Valley Gaming, a joint venture of Delaware North and Churchill Downs Inc., collected 5,007 cans for the United Way of Warren County. MVG Club guests were encouraged to bring three canned goods to Miami Valley Gaming each day to be entered into weekly drawings for free-play prizes.
“We know that hunger is a reality many families face in our area,” said Domenic Mancini, president and general manager of Miami Valley Gaming. “We are proud our patrons stepped up and helped us provide more than 5,000 canned goods to area food banks through our partner, the United Way.”