Hollywood donates to food pantry

Pictured from left to right are Bernie Hanson, Hollywood VP of Finance/CFO; Cynthia Simms, Hollywood VP Of Human Resources; Lisa Cowand Food Pantry Board of Directors Chair; Mike Galle, Hollywood VP/General Manager; Peg Walton, Food Pantry Volunteer Coordinator and Monica Scott, Hollywood VP of Marketing.

The Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast in Bay St. Louis recently donated more than $6,000 to the Hancock County Food Pantry, which is enough funding to purchase about a half month of food for the families the pantry serves, Hancock County Food Pantry Treasurer John Wittliff said. According to a release from Penn National Gaming, both the Hollywood Casino and Boomtown Casino Biloxi host a quarterly donation program which gives players the opportunity to donate slot tickets of any value or cash which is donated to a selected Charity of the Quarter. There are donation boxes stationed throughout the property. "The program began in January 2019 and we have been able to provide financial contributions to four organizations through the end of the third quarter," the release states. "Selected charities must have a local presence on the Gulf Coast and be 501(c)(3) certified. Hollywood and Boomtown Casinos work to ensure all areas of our community receive support and have selected both charities with specific community focus, as well as those that serve the entire Gulf Coast. Through the Charity of the Quarter program, we have donated over $33,000 to date to local charities including American Cancer Society, Back Bay Mission, Salvation Army, and the Hancock County Food Pantry." Wittliff said that the Hollywood Casino Bay St. Louis has been a longtime community partner to the pantry. The pantry was founded in 1986 and is the only food pantry in the county. It serves an average of 650 families per month and is entirely volunteer run, Wittliff said. The pantry is located at 9972 Hwy. 603 and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, contact pantry volunteers at 228-467-2790. Boomtown Biloxi and Hollywood Casino will be collecting donations through the end of December and the donations collected from Boomtown will be donated to the Gulf Coast Center for Non-Violence. Those collected at the Hollywood Casino will be donated to the Hope Haven at the end of the fourth quarter, the release states. Qualifying charities can submit applications to be considered for a 2020 Charity of the Quarter by completing the Charitable Giving Application on Penn National Gaming's website at www.pngaming.com/community/charitable-giving. In addition to the quarterly program, Hollywood Casino and Boomtown Casino "maintain a charitable giving program to support worthwhile local 501 [c][3] charities, civic groups, and nonprofit organizations. In addition to financial and in-kind support, these properties also open their doors to charitable organizations by hosting fundraisers and donating the use of their facilities for other special events," the release states. Requests for charitable consideration must be submitted via the Charitable Giving application on the website and received 90 days in advance of need to be considered for contributions. "We are always excited to give back to the community and provide support for those in need," VP and General Manager of Boomtown Casino Biloxi and Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast Mike Galle said in the release. "We are thankful for the continued support from our team members, as well as our customers in helping to improve the lives within our community through the donations made to support these worthwhile local organizations."

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