NIAGARA FALLS — When it comes to any casino, or gaming in general, there really isn’t such a thing as a “sure bet.”
Associates at the city’s two casinos — Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara — and the United Way of Niagara Falls and Fort Erie may beg to differ, however.
When the dust settled on the United Way’s 2014 campaign, the casinos announced a $215,000 contribution to the campaign during a wrapup luncheon at the Keg Restaurant last week.
“The success of this campaign, and of campaigns past, speaks to the size of the hearts of our employees,” said Art Frank, President of Niagara Casinos. “Giving back is a proud part of our history and our future, and we’re fortunate to partner with organizations like the United Way that give assistance to those who need it most.”
The contribution – $115,000 raised by associates and $100,000 from the casino group’s corporate giving program — continues to represent the largest single donation to the United Way’s annual workplace campaign.
Led by a campaign committee and team of employee volunteers, this year’s fundraising activities included several sports tournaments, a charity bazaar and a comedy night. Additionally, October kicked off the annual month-long payroll campaign in which employees donate a portion of their pay to the United Way.
Since 1997, 17 United Way workplace campaigns have taken place at each Casino property with employee and corporate donations exceeding $3.8 million. To keep forward momentum each year the volunteer campaign committee assesses each fundraising event in order to boost associate engagement and raise the most funds possible.
“I consider myself fortunate to be a part of a team that shows a great deal of passion and energy for the common goal of supporting our community” said casino associate Tony Gagliardi. “The Niagara Casinos team continues to make a significant difference in the community year after year through the United Way. This is something we should be all proud of.”
The Casinos’ 2014 United Way Associate Campaign Committee included Ruth Choy, Shayne Fordy, Craig Tomori, Teresa Howell, Ken Conhiser, Lerone Howard, Adam Burton, David Rossi and Tony Gagliardi (Chair); and special event organizers Aniko Bzdyl, Rick Farkas, Rosemary Girardo and Allan Moore. Richard Taylor, Vice President of Operations for Niagara Falls Casinos, served as the committee’s executive liaison.
By the end of 2014, Niagara Casinos’ corporate giving program will have donated nearly $1 million to local events, community organizations and non-profits throughout Niagara and surrounding areas.
Other beneficiaries include both new and longstanding partners like Hospice Niagara, Project SHARE, Niagara Symphony, Niagara Grape and Wine Festival and the Rankin Cancer Run.