“The difference between the ordinary and EXTRAordinary is that little bit of EXTRA,” is a powerful truism that I have shared many times over the years. There is no more extraordinary embrace of the greater Westchester community and beyond than that of Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway.
President and CEO Tim Rooney, General Counsel Tim Rooney, Jr., and COO Bob Galterio always extend a helping hand to important causes. Two prime examples are this Sunday’s Walk to Cure Diabetes in support of JDRF, and next Wednesday’s on-site community blood drive, both provide opportunities to save lives.
And so, it should come as no surprise that Mr. Rooney is being recognized next Tuesday for those herculean efforts. The son of Steelers founder Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. will be honored at City & State Magazine’s Corporate Social Responsibility Awards (CSR) Breakfast, which will acknowledge leaders in the Hospitality, Gaming and Tourism industries. Rooney will be the recipient of the Special Award for Excellence in Workforce Diversity, Corporate Giving & Community Engagement.
“Mr. Rooney and the team at Empire City Casino consistently show that their corporate culture is to give back to the community and be a good corporate citizen,” said Dr. Marsha Gordon, president of The Business Council of Westchester. “They are the region’s largest job generator and are committed to positive employment opportunities for so many.”
Last week, the 10 greatest trotters in the world were on the historic Yonkers oval for the revival of the Yonkers International Trot. Now on October 18th, a great field behind the starting gate will be much larger – 2,000 strong – on the track for an important international effort – the “Walk to Cure Diabetes.”
Galterio’s daughter Cara was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 9, and the longtime executive immediately was compelled to take action to fight the disease.
So, “Cure for Cara” was born. That was 15 years ago, and on October 18th, the several thousand Empire City employees, volunteers and participants will gather to take action in the Walk to Cure Diabetes for JDRF.
Galterio will serve as captain of the “Cure for Cara” team. Cara is now 25, and will be married later this month.
Registration opens at 9:00 am. The walk starts at 10:00 am. The fundraising goal for the chapter is to raise nearly $545,000 for research to find a cure for diabetes and its complications.
Good neighbors joining in as sponsors include: Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP, Westchester Family Magazine, Westchester Medical Center, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, Brown, Gruttadaro, Gaugean, Prato, LLC, D. Bertoline & Sons, Ridgewood Savings Bank, and WestMed Medical Group.
In addition to wide-spread corporate support, entire families from kids to grandparents take part in the fundraising efforts of the Walk to Cure Diabetes – many affected themselves by the disease. However, even those who are not among the 17 million Americans who have diabetes – or the 100 million Americans with a personal connection to the disease – will still come out to support the cause. At the Walk, there will be games, vendor booths, food and most of all FUN!
Then next Wednesday, October 21st, Empire City will be host its third annual on-site community blood drive from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm in the third floor Good Time Room. All potential blood donors are urged to participate and have the opportunity to save a life. In addition, all donors will receive a free gift from Empire City as well as a free health screening from New York Blood Center.
Fall is in the air, and as we get ready for cooler temperatures, the New York Blood Center is encouraging blood donors to set aside one hour to give the gift of life and strengthen our community’s blood supply. The summer months are traditionally a challenging time for blood centers to collect donated units – school breaks, summer vacations, and warm weather all have negative impacts on blood drive scheduling and donor attendance.
The need for blood never takes a holiday. According to the blood center, about 4.5 million Americans receive blood transfusions every year, and nearly 2,000 donations are needed each day in New York and New Jersey alone.
“October is a special month as we remember those who have been touched by breast and other cancers,” says Rooney. “We strive to be an active partner in our community, and it is a great time to host a blood drive and remind people how often blood saves lives.”
From the casino’s annual Christmas Toy & Coat Drive to herculean assistance after Hurricane Sandy to the Walk to Cure and on-site Blood Drive to the grassroots reachout at the Food Bank for Westchester and beyond, kudos to Messers Rooney, Sr. and Jr., Galterio, and public affairs director Taryn Duffy, who helps to galvanize those efforts, which are indeed extraordinary.