Yonkers' Empire City Toy And Coat Drive Brings Warmth To New Yorkers

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Monsignor Kevin Sullivan and Empire City Casino President Timothy J. Rooney. Photo Credit: Contributed
Empire City Casino presented toys and coats to Catholic Charities at the end of its holiday drive. Photo Credit: Contributed

YONKERS, N.Y. -- Empire City Casino teamed up with Catholic Charities for the the seventh consecutive year to provide area families in need with a bit of warmth and some holiday cheer through the casino’s Annual “Christmas Spirit” Coat and Toy Drive.

Timothy J. Rooney, president and CEO of Empire City Casino, presented the organization with hundreds of toys and coats on Dec. 12 at the casino. A fellow family-owned company, Jams, of Costa Mesa, Calif., delivered some West Coast warmth through its generous donation of 500 new toys for New York children in need.

Josh Blake of Jams joined Tim Rooney for the presentation, which was accepted by Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, Karen Reynolds, Westchester & Putnam County Supervisor of Catholic Charities, along with Sister Christine Hennessey and Linda Cronston of Aisling Irish Community Center. 

The distribution team quickly went to work searching through hundreds of coats seeking out sizes for members of the families they knew were without warm coats this winter.

“It’s important that we remember what the Christmas season is truly celebrating," Rooney said. "We must always remember to give to those in need. We provide our customers with an opportunity to give back, and I am always astounded by their generosity."

From Nov. 22 through Dec. 8, Empire City Casino patrons donated new, unwrapped toys and gently used coats.  A sampling of the items collected was on display in Empire City Casino’s Entertainment Lounge where Mr. Rooney commended the employees of Empire City as well the customers who gave so generously to the annual drive.

Yonkers-based Smart Move & Storage generously provided transportation and storage of the donations. The items will be distributed by Catholic Charities over the coming weeks to families in need.

The toy and coat drive has become a holiday tradition at Empire City Casino, and thousands of toys and coats have been donated since 2007 when the campaign was launched. Empire City Casino has a long history of philanthropy and charitable service, providing assistance to thousands of non-profit organizations.

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