photo by: Alan Olson
Checks totaling nearly $11,000 were donated to Wheeling Health Right and to the Ohio County Animal Shelter through the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack’s ‘Game Changer’ program.
Health Right received a check for $5,418.84 and the animal shelter received $5,496.72, each representing a month’s worth of donations from casino patrons and employees through the recurring fundraiser. The Game Changer program collects funds through donations of spare change or uncashed tickets from patrons and from donations among employees for a dress-down day on Fridays.
The Ohio County Animal Shelter will use the donated funds to complete needed renovations, such as a new roof, as well as for the purchase of necessary supplies.
“The donations that we work off of at the shelter help ease the burden on the taxpayers,” said Nelson Croft, shelter manager. “The county commission is very generous with us, but if we can get the community involved, … it helps us out. We have the new dog kitchen, a new roof we’re going to put on, and once we get the roof on, we’ll be painting the interior, including the kennels. Any money we can spend on bleach that doesn’t come from our budget is great.”
Kathie Brown, executive director of the Wheeling Health Right, said the COVID-19 pandemic created hardship which they’re still struggling through, as well as a continuing recovery process from a cyberattack earlier this year, which these funds will help with.
“It is wonderful. We are truly lucky to have such an amazing community, and the casino has been wonderful to us,” she said. “It certainly will make a difference, when the pandemic has been very difficult so we really appreciate the gift.”
Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack regional president and general manager Kim Florence said the organization was happy to be a continued positive force for fundraising efforts in the community.
“It’s really important for us here at Wheeling Island to do more and give back to our community. It’s a really important part of what we do as a business, and trying to keep that all year long is important, and trying to keep that going all year long is important to our community.”