Many Delaware North locations continued to brighten spirits this holiday season with special celebrations for guests and associates, as well as charitable events and donations that to help give back to communities and support those in need.
Holidays in Space returns to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s popular Holidays in Space programming is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and officially began for visitors on Dec. 17. Live entertainment, immersive educational activities and experiments for kids and families, as well as festive photo opportunities throughout the complex will be available through the end of the year.
The Atlantis West Pavilion will also have a nine-hole mini golf course, corn hole and jumbo “four in a row” games, which are open to visitors all day.
As is tradition, the visitor complex is full of new holiday decor to explore and limitededition, complimentary 2021 Holidays in Space collectable pins are available for guests.
Catawba Two Kings Casino donates toys to local Toys for Tots campaign
Employees and patrons of Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain, N.C., and Delaware North have donated more than $4,500 worth of toys to the regional Toys for Tots campaign to provide holiday toys to deserving children in York and Cleveland counties. The casino’s toy drive – which was initiated by Jennifer Elberson, Player’s Club manager for the casino – was promoted at the casino with donation boxes. The donation was coordinated with and presented to regional representatives of Toys for Tots and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, which operates the program nationwide.
“I want to thank Delaware North and especially Jennifer Elberson for leading the charge to have our associates and guests make a difference this holiday season for children in the area through Toys for Tots,” said Michael Ulizio, president of the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority.
Delaware North, which is a consultant on the casino project, purchased $5,000 worth of toys to give the drive a significant boost.
London Stadium donates unused food to benefit local charities
Delaware North’s team at London Stadium in the U.K. last week made a sizeable donation of food to the London-based distribution charity The Felix Project. The perishable food items were to be used for a postponed English Premier League match at the stadium but instead were donated to assist more than 1,000 frontline charities, primary schools and holiday programs throughout the city.
The Felix Project believes in a vision of London where no one goes hungry and good food is never wasted. It states that 1.5 million adults in London struggle to afford to eat every day and 400,000 children are at risk of missing their next meal.
“We are delighted to be able to support this worthwhile London charity that can make use of items that otherwise would have gone to waste,” said Gary Foakes, executive head chef for Delaware North at London Stadium. “We appreciate how much pressure people are under at this time of year, not only with the pandemic but facing a tough winter and putting food on the table. We hope this will go to the people who need it most and are happy to be providing this for The Felix Project to distribute.”
Grand Canyon hosts annual ‘Angel Tree’ gift drive
Delaware North’s team at Grand Canyon National Park again hosted its annual Angel Tree project this holiday season to help supply Christmas gifts to children in the Grand Canyon and Tusayan communities.
A tree was put up in the Grand Canyon Village Market earlier this month that was decorated with angel ornaments representing local children who are in need. Visitors were able to “adopt” an angel from the tree, and return the purchased gift to the store for wrapping and distribution. A community wrapping event took place to assist in wrapping the gifts before distribution.
A food basket packing event was also held to assemble holiday food baskets that are then given out to local families. The program typically provides assistance to more than 100 local families.
Finger Lakes associates, guests wrap another successful ‘Points for Kids’ gift drive
Delaware North’s team at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack in Farmington, N.Y., near Rochester, recently wrapped up its annual “Points for Kids” holiday gift drive, a tradition at the location for the past 18 years. Each year starting around Thanksgiving, guests at Finger Lakes are invited to donate some of their player points toward the program, which are then tallied up and used to purchase toys for local foster children.
This year’s drive yielded more than $5,000 worth of points, and a group of nearly a dozen Finger Lakes associates shopped to purchase gifts for children ranging in age from toddlers to teenagers. The gifts and toys were packaged up and delivered to the Ontario County Department of Social Services, where they were wrapped and distributed to 57 children served by the foster care program in the county.
Finger Lakes associates who participated in this year’s shopping event include: Dave LeFrois, Natalie D’Aurizio, Aaron Krapf, Tim Masucci, Heather CookOsolnick, Mike Struzyk, Kim Delong, Jen Burger, Brandon LaPlant, Nick Faruch and Lee Mapes.
The Turn canned food drive
The Turn Restaurant and Lounge, which Delaware North operates in the Titletown district outside of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc., last week hosted a coat and canned food drive for Paul’s Pantry, a local charity. Guests could bring in gently used coats or nonperishable pantry items to receive free menu items, golf towels and the chance to win a grand prize raffle of a Topgolf Swing Suite package.
Southland donates holiday food boxes to local families in need
Earlier this month, Southland Casino Racing helped to feed local families in the City of West Memphis, Ark., this holiday season by donating 150 food boxes, which included certificates for a holiday turkey or ham. Residents were selected by the City of West Memphis and invited to pick up their food boxes during an event held on Dec. 14. The City of West Memphis also gave away free sanitizer and reusable face masks to the residents. Representatives from the West Memphis Fire and Police departments were also on hand to assist in handing out the boxes.
Southland purchased $5,000 worth of food from the Mid-South Food Bank of Memphis, Tenn., and provided 150 $15 turkey/ham certificates for a total of $7,250 in donations.
“Giving to others is what the holidays are about, and Southland Casino is happy to seize every opportunity to help its community,” said David Wolf, Delaware North’s president and general manager at Southland.
Daytona Beach, Orange City Racing & Card Clubs raise money to buy toys for local children
Associates at Daytona Beach and Orange City Racing & Card Clubs raised more than $1,500 to sponsor Christmas presents for victims of child abuse. This year’s fundraising consisted of donations made by associates as part of a “Charity Club” at the gaming locations. Associates donated $5 to wear Charity Club shirts and football jerseys for their weekend shifts during football season.
The fundraising efforts raised enough money to provide bicycles, safety equipment and toys for 10 children selected by a local Volusia County-based 501(c)3 charity, “Our Children First,” which advocates for victims of child abuse.
Boston Bruins shop for area children, families
Players, coaches and team personnel from the Boston Bruins, owned by Delaware North Chairman Jeremy Jacobs, spent time in late November shopping for gifts to donate to local children and families who are unable to spend the holidays at home.
The annual tradition, which was started by Hall of Fame Bruins defenseman Ray Bourque, sends toys and presents to hundreds of local children who are being treated at area hospitals over the holidays.
Click here to watch a video recap of this year’s event.
Global Headquarters associates volunteer, donate to local charities
Associates at global headquarters in Buffalo have been busy throughout December, particiapting in volunteer events in the community and collecting donations for local charities and programs. Highlights include:
- A group of nearly a dozen associates took time to volunteer at FeedMore Western New York, a local food bank, to assist with inspecting and boxing more than 3,000 pounds of food.
- Departments across the company came together to “adopt” 14 families in support of Child & Family Services’ Adopt-A-Family program. Associates collected and donated “wish list” items for 43 children and 18 adults, totaling more than $6,000 of donated items and gift cards.
- Members of the Global Business Services (GBS) team took part in a book drive for the Andre Reed Foundation, which unveiled a renovated “Literacy Center” at a local Boys & Girls Club. The foundation was created in 2010 by Buffalo Bills legend Andre Reed.
Busch Stadium, Great American Ball Park participate in toy drives
Associates at Busch Stadium, where Delaware North provides food, beverage and retail services, joined the St. Louis Cardinals in their annual toy drive at the ballpark earlier this month. Delaware North supplied hot chocolate and Cardinals drink tumblers to everyone who donated toys, gift cards or monetary donations. The drive resulted in more 1,800 toys, $550 in gift cards, and $900 in cash donations that went to the American Red Cross and other local St. Louis charities.
Similarly, Delaware North’s team at Great American Ball Park, home to the Cincinnati Reds, participated in a Toys for Tots drive hosted by a local radio station.