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Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack Makes Donation To Madison Elementary

photo by: Joselyn King

Madison Elementary School Principal Andrea Trio, left, accepts a check presented to her by Kim Florence, regional president and general manager of Wheeling Hotel-Casino-Racetrack. The track raised over $4,276 over the summer through its Gamechangers program, which it donated to the school.

Madison Elementary School is again the recipient of “spare change” left this summer by patrons and employees at the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack.

Track officials on Monday presented Principal Andrea Trio with a check for $4,276.72. Much of the money came from guests at the track, who donated to the track’s “Game Changer” program.

The program is called “Game Changer” as it asks patrons to toss in the kettle whatever spare change they have — or their tickets containing a small amount of winnings, explained Kim Florence, regional president and general manager of the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack.

Additional money comes from the dollars employees donate on Fridays for the privilege of wearing jeans to work, she said.

The money collected is then donated to local charities, and so far this year $31,610 has been distributed by the track, according to track officials.

Florence said Madison School is traditionally the recipient of dollars donated during summer months. She added others who already have benefited, or will by the end of 2022, include the Augusta Levy Learning Center, Wheeling Health Right, the Salvation Army of Wheeling, the Ohio County Animal Shelter, the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley and Ohio Valley Breast Cancer Awareness.

“It’s important to all of our team members that we are not only a good neighbor to those in our community, but also that we’re doing the best we can to help to provide educational and extra-curricular opportunities to our children that, otherwise, they might not be able to enjoy,” Florence said.

Madison School used the funds it received one year ago to complete its sensory playground.

“This year, we’re going to have experiences,” said Principal Andrea Trio. “We’re looking for outside community projects for our kiddos to experience.”

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school brought in scientists from Oglebay Institute to speak with the students.

Trio expects the school this year might look to take the children somewhere to learn with the money it received.

“Maybe we’ll go on some field trips, now that we’re getting back to what school is,” she said.

Over the summer, the hallways at Madison School have been painted blue and gold in the school’s colors.

There are also plans to place “Cougar paws” — in honor of the school’s mascot — on the floors to lead students to various sayings or affirmations at the school.

The first of these is “I always try my best,” followed by “I believe in me, yes, I do,” “I deserve all good things” and “Feeling on top of the world.”

Trio said additional affirmations could be added.

“It’s grow time,” she explained. “We’re looking to grow in areas socially, emotionally and academically.”


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