Each Christmas, Atlantic City casino employees and guests become holiday heroes through donations.
Whether it’s providing an unwrapped gift to the Toys for Tots campaign box in the casino lobby or handing over an extra change receipt from a slot machine win or cooking a free meal that’s donated to city children – Atlantic City casinos are full of heroes.
Did you know that each Christmas, AC casinos, their employees and visitors donate toys for kids? Pay for meals for the homeless? Raise money for philanthropic efforts during November and December?
Since the first AC casino opened in 1978, casinos and their employees and guests have found ways to give back to charities and less fortunate residents of the resort.
Ocean Casino Resort, Resorts Atlantic City and Tropicana Atlantic City employees annually find ways to give back to the community during the holidays. Casino patrons also can help donate to different casino fundraisers, and here are a few.
Ocean highlights Atlantic City casinos giving back to community
Employees at Ocean Casino Atlantic City participate in an annual program called “Ocean’s Season of Giving,” which benefits more than 20 nonprofits throughout Atlantic City.
Ocean employees volunteer and donate money during the holiday season in support of Atlantic City youth, combating homelessness, and providing education and family services in the city.
During December, Ocean’s initiative benefits:
|Ocean team members participate in Giving Tree
|Breakfast with Santa; Ocean TM’s volunteering and providing breakfast (Dec 16th)
|Thanksgiving lunch and coat distribution
|Atlantic City Rescue Mission
|Team Member Drive collecting hats, socks, gloves, scarves, etc. (until Dec. 31st)
|FoodBank of South Jersey
|Boys & Girls Club
|Coat Drive (Dec. 8-9)
|Atlantic County Toys for Kids
|$2,000 donation plus team member toy drive
|Center for Family Services
|Duffle bag donation
|Oceanside Family Success Center
|Sponsoring gingerbread house workshop & donating toys
|AtlantiCare Pediatric Unit
|Toy & blanket donation
|Contact Cape Atlantic
|Gift donation for youth residents
|Toiletry bags donation and stuffing
Bill Callahan, general manager for Ocean Casino Resort, praised the annual employee giving efforts, especially after a successful summer 2023 season.
“We are equally committed to investing back into the local community and our valued team members and customers who truly make this property what it is,” Callahan said.
Last year, Ocean also donated over $150,000 from the casino’s “Change for Change” initiative that allows customers to deposit their ticket slips into change donations, said Brian Brennan, public relations manager for Ocean. “Change for Change” collects donations from players who want their small change ticket slips to go to charity. The boxes are next to ticket redemption machines and cashier cages at the resort.
“Change for Change” benefits the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, South Jersey Field of Dreams, the Salvation Army, and Covenant House New Jersey. In 2022, Ocean donated over $90,000 to the groups.
Resorts AC swings into Christmas with Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots is getting a boost again this year from employees and guests at Resorts Atlantic City with the casino’s “Swing Into Christmas.” The event is free, but visitors are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy.
The event at 8 p.m. on Dec. 10 includes longtime Atlantic City entertainers:
- Jim Craine “The Singing Lifeguard,”
- Atlantic City Allstar Band
- Best Daily and the Tony Grant Stars of Tomorrow Alumni Dancers
- Singer Suzie Neustadter, and TV Host Michele Dawn Mooney
Plenty of other holiday fundraisers across Atlantic City
Each year, Tropicana Atlantic City employees give back to the community by delivering Thanksgiving meals to students at the historic Our Lady Star of the Sea School in Chelsea.
The school recognized several Tropicana employees – including Carol McFillin (supervisor of food and beverage), Demetrios Haronis (executive chef) and Larry Johnson (executive steward) – for the donated meals.
But the AC casino holiday fundraising and donation events don’t end there.
- The Bally’s Atlantic City tree lighting event on Dec. 1 accepts a new unwrapped toy for the Toys for Kids toy collection as well as money for the 177th FW Spouse Foundation.
- The Claridge hosts a holiday benefit concert featuring Zachary James at 8 p.m. on Dec. 3. Benefiting the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, the Christmas celebration concert requests a donation price of $25. Food and clothing donations will also be accepted.
- The 2023 Deck The Hall – Festival of Trees during December at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall raises money for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children of Atlantic, Cape May and Camden counties. Admission is free, but donations for CASA are requested.
- Since it opened in 2018, Hard Rock Atlantic City has made over $1 million in monetary donations to over 450 charities, according to the Hard Rock website. Hard Rock has also provided hundreds of donations to support other AC events, which include donations of overnight hotel stays, concert tickets and dining.
- Historic Steel Pier is promoting the first annual Holiday Drive Guest Services located at the guest services booth from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Bring two new unwrapped toys or two nonperishable food items and receive an extra 25 Steel Pier ride tickets when visitors participate in the pier’s 2024 one-day holiday ticket sale BOGO.