09.07.2021
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack and Southland Casino Racing, two Delaware North-owned gaming properties, gave local elementary schools in their communities a needed boost last week just as the new school year gets underway.

Through its version of Delaware North’s proprietary “Game Changer” program, Wheeling Island made a donation of $5,402 to Madison Elementary School, located in Wheeling, W.Va., which will be used for funding educational and extra-curricular activities throughout the school year.

“It’s important to all of our team members that we are not only a good neighbor to those in our community, but also that we’re doing the best we can help to provide educational and extracurricular opportunities to our children they otherwise might not be able to enjoy,” said Kim Florence, Delaware North’s regional president and general manager at Wheeling Island.

The Game Changer donations were made throughout June and July by casino patrons who dropped uncashed casino or racing vouchers into donation boxes located on the property. Additionally, Delaware North associates made $5 donations each week for “Dress Down” Fridays. 

Madison Elementary joins the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley and the Augusta Levy Learning Center as recipients of “Game Changer” funds from Wheeling Island so far this year. Several different charities are earmarked throughout the year to be recipients of funds generated by the program which, thus far in 2021, is responsible for donations totaling more than $25,000.

Meanwhile, in West Memphis, Ark., where Delaware North operates Southland Casino Racing, the Jackson-Wonder Elementary School received a $3,475 donation from Southland as part of the Partners in Education (PIE) program. Partners in Education is a nationwide organization that is designed to partner individual schools with local businesses in their community to assist the schools with issues they may have throughout the school year above and beyond their normal operations.

“This Southland Casino contribution will be used to expand learning activities in literacy, mathematics, and science by enabling the school to purchase additional manipulatives, supplies, literature, and audiovisuals that will aid in our school creating more inclusive environments for our scholars,” said Leman Brown, Jackson-Wonder Elementary School’s principal.

The West Memphis School District is a longtime participant in the PIE program, and several businesses in West Memphis partner up with individual schools. Normally, schools located in lower income areas are targeted first to make sure they have a business partner to assist them. However, West Memphis has a business partner for each of the schools in the West Memphis school district.

The donated funds were raised through Southland’s We CARE program. We CARE is an associate-driven charitable program, which was established in 2016. Associates contribute to the We CARE program through payroll deductions and other donation opportunities such $5 “Dress Down” Fridays.

Since the program began, Southland has donated $182,696 to more than a half-dozen local community organizations and charities. 

PHOTO CAPTION (above): Madison Elementary School Principal Andrea Trio (left) accepts a donation from Kim Florence (right), Delaware North’s regional president and general manager of Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack in Wheeling, W.Va., through the casino’s Game Changer program. 

PHOTO CAPTION (below): Leman Brown (center), principal of Jackson-Wonder School in West Memphis, Ark., accepts a check from Southland Casino Racing’s We CARE program to expand learning activities in literacy, mathematics and science at the school. Also pictured: Louie Jacobs (left), Southland Casino Racing intern; and Jim Wilson (right), director of gaming for Delaware North at Southland. 
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