Private and public entities up and down the shore are pitching in for relief efforts following Hurricane Sandy, from casino companies to church groups to cities.
In Atlantic City, the president of Caesars Entertainment Eastern Division presented a check for $150,000 to the Southern Shore Chapter of the American Red Cross on Wednesday for its Hurricane Sandy relief efforts
Don Marrandino handed the check to Red Cross gifts officer Yvonne Soto in the lobby of the Claridge hotel on Park Place, where about 100 employees were still staying after having been displaced by the storm.
"We're giving the Red Cross $150,000 from our company to be used here locally, to really help stimulate others to follow and to help people in great need of relief."
In addition, vendors also donated a number of items to be picked up from the lobby, including water bottles, paper plates and cups, hand sanitizer, pasta, bread, jelly, deodorant and toothpaste.
"You know, it's going to be well-used," said Carol Cohen, the executive director of the Southern Shore Chapter. "We know the need is immediate, we know it's going to be a long recovery. We're so appreciative. It's terrific."
Soto said that all the donations would go directly to Sandy victims, adding that there were still hundreds of victims at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
"At the same time," Marrandino said, "We're giving $100,000 in additional funds to the Employee Sunshine Fund, where 100 percent of the money will be used to help our 12,000 employees, many of whom have been hit really hard."
The funds came equally from the company's four Atlantic City properties, Showboat, Bally's Caesars and Harrah's.
In addition, Tropicana Casino and Resort is donating items to its employees in need, including gift cards, towels, sheets, linens, cleaning supplies, paper products and carpeting and furniture from the hotel.
Human Resources is also assisting employees with FEMA claims, unemployment claims, and applications for the Employee Sunshine Fund, and has also created a program that allows employees to donate their "Paid Time Off" to other coworkers.
“We are truly a family here at Tropicana,” General Manager Steve Callender said in a statement. “There has been an overwhelming desire and commitment to help our less fortunate team members. What a wonderful feeling to join together and give back to each other.”
The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa established a relief fund with a $50,000 donation and added that proceeds of an upcoming Wolfgang Puck book signing and a poker tournament will benefit the Red Cross.
Meanwhile, collections of donated goods were happening at places as disperse as the North Wildwood firehouse at 15th Street, St. Ann Church in Wildwood, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Linwood EMS headquarters, St. Gianna Baretta Molla Parish in Northfield, the Ocean City Civic Center, the Apostolistic Tabernacle in Pleasantville, Shore Medical Center EMS headquarters in Somers Point, the Community Presbyterian Church in Brigantine and the Ventnor school.
At the Way of Life Assembly of God in Ventnor, the church was working in tandem with the Florida-based Deliver the Difference organization to hand out 50,000 meals at the Ventnor Community Center on Monday.
Kathleen Macabeo, the wife of church Pastor James Macabeo, said that each packet — 25,000 macaroni and cheese, 25,000 rice and beans — contains six meals.
"They always deliver food in hard-hit, stricken areas," Macabeo said of Deliver the Difference.
The distribution will take place at the Ventnor Community Center on Atlantic Avenue at 10:30 a.m. Monday.
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