J'Nelle AgeeNov 13, 2017, 9:57 pmNov 15, 2017, 12:31 pm

Empire City Casino Yonkers gathers gifts for underprivileged kids

The business is helping local charities give back this holiday season

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YONKERS — Employees and community leaders gathered at Empire Casino Yonkers to wrap gifts that will be given to underprivileged kids during the holidays.

"It's really important that we provide this opportunity. So many people want to do something; they want to help but they don't necessarily know how," said Taryn Duffy, Empire City Yonkers director of public affairs

Thousands of gifts are being collected and wrapped and will be distributed to underprivileged kids throughout Westchester this holiday season. The casino is also collecting gently used jackets for their annual coat drive.

"Most people think of Westchester as a very wealthy county, but there are also pockets of tremendous need," Duffy said.

Employees donated their time to wrap gifts for children in the community during the Wrapped with Love event on Monday.

"Our employees are going to come up over the next couple of hours today. ... They can take one toy and wrap it, or they can stay for an hour and wrap a bunch of toys," Duffy said.

Thousands of toys were donated from Gander Group. They say they're happy to be able to give back to the community families in need during the holiday season.

"When you're running businesses and you're always focused on profits and margins and things like that, while that's very important the essence of the Gander Group is that we really feel it's important not just to give back to our customers but also to give back to our communities," said Gander Group President Scott Nicholson.

The Rooney family who owns and operates the casino also donated $10,000 to Catholic charities to help with holiday season donations.

Gift donations and jackets for the winter coat drive will be collected through Nov. 30.

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