Island Casino donates first batch of toys collected in its Christmas Wish toy drive

The Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack donated its first batch of toys from its fifth annual Christmas Wish toy drive to the Salvation Army on 16th Street on Friday.

Salvation Army Maj. John Blevins accepted three large boxes full of toys for children of all ages that were donated by guests and employees of the Island facility.

He said the Salvation Army is serving 450 children this holiday season and will be distributing all the donations Wednesday for families who have signed up for the gift donation program.

He said the Salvation Army is still especially in need of toys and clothing for children ages 7-12.

“The casino is so gracious to give us donations,” Blevins said. “We have a great working relationship, and we couldn’t do it without them.”

The track also has a cash collection box where guests can either donate $5 or give their cash vouchers earned at a game.

The track will be collecting toys and monetary donations until 1 p.m Dec. 18, at which time the casino will present a check to the Salvation Army with the total funds raised through the drive.

“All of the donations we raise go to help the Salvation Army,” Kim Florence, director of marketing for Wheeling Island racetrack, said. “It’s helping families and kids in the Ohio Valley. It was very important to us to keep it in Ohio County and to help in any way that we can.”