Arizona Nonprofits Win Big During Gila River Cares Week of Giving

At a time when nonprofits are experiencing financial hardship, a donation from a local gaming enterprise helped provide relief to three nonprofit organizations throughout the Valley.

Gila River Hotels & Casinos – Wild Horse Pass, Lone Butte and Vee Quiva distributed a year’s worth of its self-excluded jackpots to three local nonprofit organizations during its Gila River Cares Week of Giving. In lieu of the enterprise’s annual Gila River Cares Night of Giving event, team members from Gila River Hotels & Casinos visited the selected nonprofits throughout the week to surprise the organizations with the funds.

Over $76,000 of self-excluded jackpot funds were distributed to the nonprofits to enhance the lives of Arizonans through educational programs and children’s welfare. This year’s recipients and distribution amounts included:

  • Pawsitive Friendships (Gilbert): $25,473.26
    Pawsitive Friendships help children with special needs achieve their therapy goals by providing animal-assisted therapy to help support and encourage them. The funds will allow them to continue providing services to their 11 facilities, as well as help train and equip new animal therapy teams and expand their services to additional schools.
  • Child Crisis Arizona (Mesa): $25,396.99
    Child Crisis Arizona helps strengthen the community’s most vulnerable children and families, build resiliency, and prevent crisis situations. The funds will help serve up to 200 children each night in their Emergency Children’s Placement Services which includes their foster care program, shelter, and group home. 
  • Miracle League of Arizona (Scottsdale): $25,396.99
    Miracle League of Arizona offers a safe and successful baseball experience for children, teens, and adults with disabilities or special health care needs. The funds will allow them to continue serving nearly 400 families with special needs as well as help expand their family baseball sessions and provide personalized equipment to each player to allow them to participate safely at home.

“Week of Giving represents our commitment to supporting programs that help meet the needs of the community and make a difference in our state,” said Kenneth Manuel, CEO of Gila River Hotels & Casinos. “We are grateful that we were able to turn our annual celebration into a week of giving this year and continue to provide year-round support to nonprofits through our Gila River Cares program.”

Earlier this year, all Arizona based 501c3 status nonprofit organizations recognized by the IRS were eligible to apply to receive the self-excluded jackpot funds and a committee from Gila River Hotels & Casinos selected the recipients.

“Thank you to Gila River Hotels & Casinos for allowing us to continue serving the special needs community with animal therapy,” said Tosha Tharp, CEO of Pawsitive Friendships. “This grant will allow us to continue providing services to our 11 facilities, as well as help us train and equip new animal therapy teams and expand our services to additional schools to create even more Pawsitive Friendships.”

Gila River Hotels & Casinos is honored to be able to give back to the local Arizona community and looks forward to continuing this initiative for many years to come.

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