There are many ways to give during the holiday season, and Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City hosted several charitable events that showcased the generous spirit of its team members.
Team members rise to the occasion each season to make the property’s efforts a success, said Jeffrey Henley, Director of Food and Beverage Operations at Ameristar Kansas City.
“The team gets to work together for a common goal,” Henley said. “They know they are helping the community and the individuals who may not be able to help themselves.”
Local small businesses and organizations find comfort in the people who make Ameristar Kansas City a community spotlight.
“The people in the community know that there are people that care about them and are willing to contribute their time and money to help with a tough situation that they might be in,” Henley said.
During the month of November, the Food and Beverage and Casino Operations teams worked together to raise money for two local charities, Harvesters Community Food Bank and NourishKC. Harvesters is a community food bank that provides food for local food pantries around Kansas City. NourishKC is an organization that provides lunch and dinner for the homeless population in Kansas City.
“Harvesters provides some of the food that NourishKC uses to feed the homeless in the area,” Henley said. “We held a bake sale as well as a taco cart to raise money for NourishKC. We were able to raise $1,200 from the bake sale as well as $600 from the taco cart.”
Guests contributed as well by dropping unused TITO tickets into locked boxes at entrances to the casino. All proceeds that were gathered in November and December were given to NourishKC.
The management team also ran a canned food drive for team members to earn a Jeans Day at work.
“We had eight Jeans Days and were able to collect over 2,000 pounds of non-perishable food items in just over three weeks,” Henley said.
The seasonal charity work is only a part of the year-round community support that Ameristar Kansas City team members conduct each day, week and month.
“The comradery that comes from these events is amazing,” Henley said. “Team members who don’t get to work together normally are given the opportunity to learn more about each other. They get to see first-hand how, if they spend a little time or effort, the amazing benefits that it brings to the community they live in.”
More than 300 guests at the Don Bosco Senior Center were served meals by Ameristar Kansas City team member volunteers in November.
“This is an event for the community who may need a warm meal as well as the seniors that live at the Don Bosco Senior Center,” said Henley, who has been a part of this event since he began working at Ameristar Kansas City. “We always have approximately 50 volunteers from the team, plus the countless culinary team members who work on preparing the food, getting it ready for transport and take great care to ensure it is properly taken care of while off property.”
Throughout the property, different departments hold seasonal charitable events that involve dedicated team members.
“Our team members are so generous,” said Julie Allen, Director of Regulatory Compliance at Ameristar Kansas City.
For the second year, Ameristar Kansas City has worked with the Salvation Army’s Adopt a Family program. This year they adopted eight families. Team members also assisted the Salvation Army by putting together toy bags for local children.
The families who are hand-picked by the Salvation Army become a part of the Ameristar Kansas City family, if only for a moment.
“It’s fun and it’s a great way to get a lot of people involved, and it is always rewarding to be able to create holiday magic for children,” Allen said. “These are families who have had a difficult year, and have encountered personal struggles, loss, etc. This is a special privilege to help them.”
Many team members have donated funds to ensure that all family members receive the specific gifts they have their hearts set on rather than random toys and items chosen by good Samaritans.
“We can make sure all family members receive all the gifts they requested,” Allen said. “This is really a magical time when our team members open their hearts for others.”
To learn more about Ameristar Kansas City, visit www.ameristarkansascity.com.