Christmas at the Casino

Posted on November 16, 2017 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Wrapped with Love

Huge thanks to Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway and its elves for their beautifully wrapped toys and donations that make Christmas special for Westchester children in need. 

At its inaugural “Wrapped with Love” event on November 13th, volunteers and staff wrapped toys for local families in need that will be donated for distribution by Catholic Charities and our affiliate, the Aisling Community Center. 

In addition, Empire City General Counsel Tim Rooney Jr. surprised Catholic Charities Executive Director Monsignor Sullivan with a generous $10,000 check donated on behalf of the casino to Catholic Charities to assist with coats, blankets and other essentials to keep families we serve warm this winter.

This early holiday event marks Empire City Casino’s 11th Annual Christmas Spirit and Coat Drive.  During the first 10 years of this initiative, Empire City collected 10,000 toys and 3,500 coats to families and children in need in Westchester County.

Yes, there are families in need in Westchester County  

Although the county is often associated with affluence, there remain extreme pockets of poverty.  Empire City’s generous donation is aimed towards the too-often forgotten, impoverished ten-percent of Westchester’s population.

To highlight this reality and join in sharing the holiday cheer, several local leaders pitched in wrapping gifts including:

  • Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins
  • Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano
  • Assemblyman Gary Pretlow,
  • Yonkers City Council President Liam McLaughlin
  • Yonkers City Council Member Michael Sabatino


Big thanks also to their fellow Christmas elves including
  • Josh Blake, CEO of the California-based Gander Group, who, for the past six years, donated a truckload of new toys to the toy drive.   
  • John Lennon, owner of Yonkers-based Smart Move & Storage, who generously donated his company’s services to transport all of the wrapped toys to Catholic Charities’ headquarters. 

Catholic Charities holiday programs offered throughout the New York Archdiocese help thousands of needy families and individuals of all religions. Generous donors, volunteers, parish groups and corporate teams distribute winter coats, hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, blankets and more to families who otherwise would go without during this blessed season.

The Empire City community effort, now in its second decade, is underway and will continue through November 30th. Donations are being accepted throughout November at the casino’s promotions booth. Patrons are asked to bring new, unwrapped toys and/or new or gently used coats which will go towards helping families and children in need. 

Make Christmas special for a child in need.  Toy donations can be dropped off at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, 810 Yonkers Avenue, Yonkers, New York

Join Catholic Charities in making Christmas special for children and families in need.

Catholic Charities is responding to the needs of our neighbors during the 
COVID-19 pandemic.

For Help Call 888-744-7900