Gun Lake Casino donates more than $53,000 to local charities

Saturday 28th December 2019

Gun Lake Casino has raised and contributed over $53,000 to five West Michigan counties this holiday season.

While continuing the tradition of giving, the casino partnered with 11 food organizations as well as Lakeshore Toys for Tots to support those in need.

"Gun Lake Casino recognizes the challenges local residents face during the holiday season," said Jose Flores, vice president and general manager of Gun Lake Casino. "It is no secret that many cannot afford toys for their children or food for the table. It is our mission to serve and support those who need it the most."

This is the eighth year Gun Lake Casino continued its holiday tradition of collecting toys for Lakeshore Toys for Tots. From Nov. 25 - Dec. 15, gifts for children ages 0-16 were collected. In collaboration with thousands of guests and casino team members, there was more than $35,000 in toys for local children, tripling the total amount of gifts donated during last year's campaign.

The toy drive began with a skydiving Santa and rappelling Elf at the casino. Skydiver Dennis Bennett (Skydive Allegan) and rappelling enthusiast Dave Nickelson (Modern Window Cleaning) descended onto the parking lot. Representatives from the Marine Corps Reserve took part in the event, parking their Toys for Tots float for guests to see and lending a hand in the collection of gifts.

Larry Klunder, Mark Peterson and Michelle Peterson, members of the Marine Corps Reserve, presented an award plaque for being a longstanding supporter of Toys for Tots. "Lakeshore Toys for Tots greatly appreciates the contributions from Gun Lake Casino and their guests," said Larry Klunder. "Without their help, many children would go without toys this Christmas. It is an honor to partner with Gun Lake Casino to help the children and families of Allegan County."

In addition to the collection of toys, for the seventh year, Gun Lake Casino took action against the issue of hunger within the community. On Tuesday, Dec,17, Gun Lake Casino hosted the Game of Giving, a private charitable event, for 11 local food organizations. Each charity was presented with the opportunity to bring awareness to their cause and create connections with members from the Wayland Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Game of Giving focused on recognizing, supporting and thanking the following charities: Allegan County Food Pantry, Manna's Market, The Green Apple Pantry, Community Action House, Good Hands Plainwell, Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes, Martin Area Resource Center, Meals on Wheels of Western Michigan, God's Kitchen of Michigan, West Michigan Veteran's Assistance Program, and Feeding America West Michigan.

One representative from each organization was given the chance to play the charitable game. All charities received a minimum donation of $1,000 for their organization. In total, $18,450 was donated to combat hunger in West Michigan.

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