Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino, Racetrack hands out donations to local charities

Almost a dozen local charities in the Ohio Valley have collectively received more than $30,000 from the Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino and Racetrack on Thursday morning for the annual Wheeling Island Sharing Hope event.

“The donations for this program have grown each year with this year reaching a total of $32,372.85. … Some of the charities are here with us today, such as Wheeling Health Right and Easter Seals,” said Kimberly Florence, president and general manager at Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino and Racetrack.

Ten local charities have been earmarked for the W.I.S.H. donation this year. Charities include Wheeling Health Right, Crittenton Services, Easter Seals, Autism Society, Helping Heroes, Madison Elementary School, United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley, Make-a-Wish Foundation, West Virginia Breast Health Initiative and the Salvation Army.

Seven out of the 10 charities came together on Thursday morning to receive the yearly donation from the local hotel and gaming center. All funds for this event come from guests and employees of the facility making monetary contributions throughout the year.

“Every Friday we allow our employees to wear jeans and a T-shirt, which has the charitable organizations on the back. If the employees wear jeans, then we require that they donate money, which is then given back to the community. Every year we fall between $30,000 and $40,000 in donations,” Florence said.

Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack began its “12 Days of Christmas” event on Friday in an effort to assist the Salvation Army this holiday season as well. “These events are all about giving back to the community and the Christmas toy drive exemplifies that. And we are very fortunate that our associates and guests show value in giving back,” said added.

Each of the donations brought to the facility over the course of 12 days will be donated to the Salvation Army this holiday season. When a donation is made, each donor is automatically entered into a casino free-play drawing, which may hold several thousand dollars in value.

All donations must be taken to the player services desk and are required to have a value of $20 or more.

“These charitable donations are going to great organizations to increase holiday spirit and keep these important services alive,” said Florence.