Six-hundred needy families came up winners Thursday at .
The families received coats and toys as part of the “Christmas Spirit” program, in which Empire City Casino teamed up with Catholic Charities for the fourth consecutive holiday season to help local families.
“It’s important that we remember what the Christmas season is truly celebrating,” said Empire City President Timothy J. Rooney. “We must always remember to give to those in need. We provide our customers with an opportunity to give back, and I am always astounded by their generosity. Together we have made a difference to hundreds of families and we hope that our efforts will motivate others to do the same.”
Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, arrived at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday along with Karen Reynolds and Sister Christine Hennessy of Catholic Charities Community Services, as well as Órla Kelleher, executive director of Aisling Irish Community Center in Yonkers, to receive the donation.
During the week of Dec. 11, Empire City Casino patrons donated new, unwrapped toys and gently used coats. With the help of employees and community members, Empire City Casino’s 2011 Toy and Coat Drive broker previous tallies by collecting more than 600 toys and coats.
A surprise contribution of children’s toys was donated by California-based, Jams, a family-owned promotional merchandising company. The items will be delivered to Catholic Charities, where they will be dispersed to families in need.
“I extend my sincerest thanks to Mr. Timothy Rooney, Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway and all the generous donors who are helping us to provide help and create hope for our neighbors in need this Christmas season,” said Sullivan. “The burdens many are feeling at this time of year can be overwhelming. Thanks to the commitment of wonderful partners like Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, more than 600 of our neighbors will have a little lighter load to bear this Christmas. Because need has no season, it is my sincere hope that we may continue to partner with so many of good will in helping those who need our help throughout the year.”
“We are most grateful to Empire City Casino for making such a generous donation of toys this Christmas to help out needy families in the community,” said Kelleher. “Every child and adult deserves to have a happy memory of Christmas despite the financial hardship they are suffering.”
Catholic Charities, a federation of about 90 agencies and programs throughout the 10 counties of the Archdiocese of New York, helps solve the problems of New Yorkers in need – non-Catholics and Catholics alike, with services that protect and nurture children; resolve family crises; assist the hungry and homeless; support the physically and emotionally challenged; and integrate immigrants and refugees. For more information visit www.catholiccharitiesny.org.
Aisling Irish Community Center was established in Yonkers in 1996 and has evolved into a full-fledged social services organization dedicated to serving the local community. The Aisling Irish Community Center endeavors to provide facilities for all Irish immigrants and their families. It strives to present a caring face to all, reaching out not only to physical but also to the emotional, social and spiritual needs of the human person. The center is located at 990 McLean Ave., Yonkers. For more information, call 914-237-5121 or visit www.aislingcenter.org.