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Vernon Downs Casino Hotel Continues Commitment to Fight Hunger in Community

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

SYRACUSE, NY – Food Bank of Central New York is thrilled to announce a donation in the amount of $40,000 from Vernon Downs Casino Hotel. These funds represent the sale of 1,000 tickets to the cancelled Tanya Tucker concert in August and includes a match from Vernon Downs Casino Hotel Chairman and CEO Jeff Gural. This is just one of two monetary donations made this year in addition to hosting a community distribution of food in their parking lot this past March.

Vernon Downs Casino Hotel began their partnership with the Food Bank in 2009 with a $10,000 grant to the Food Bank to purchase and distribute turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday. After this successful endeavor, Vernon Downs Casino Hotel decided to further invest in the work of the Food Bank through an annual concert event. Beginning in 2011, Vernon Downs Casino Hotel has suspended harness racing for an evening to host a national musical touring act for an evening of entertainment at a reasonable price while helping provide access to nutritious food to people in the community.

In addition to the musical entertainment, Vernon Downs Casino Hotel has contributed funds from their Horse Play gaming activities, countless in-kind donations such as overnight stays and dinner gift certificates, to donating food from their own kitchens when the pandemic forced the resort to close in March 2020. Since the then, a donation in the amount of $50,000 was made earlier in the year to help aid the Food Bank’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They also graciously offered to host a community distribution of nutritious food in their parking lots on a cool Saturday morning in March 2021. In total, Vernon Downs Casino Hotel has donated $670,951.16 in funds and countless hours of staff time to help ensure that access to nutritious food continues for people in our community that struggle to make ends meet.

“The work of Food Bank of Central New York is made possible through partnerships with government, businesses, community organizations, and individuals,” said Karen Belcher, Executive Director, Food Bank of Central New York. “For more than a decade, Vernon Downs Casino Hotel has been dedicated to helping provide nutritious food to people in our community struggling with hunger. We applaud them for their commitment to the community through their support of our work and so many other organizations in our region.”

For more information about this gift and the work of the Food Bank, please contact Lynn Hy at lhy@foodbankcny.org or 315-437-1899 ext. 247.

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