WEIRTON - Nearly 800 area families will be able to have their own turkey for Thanksgiving through the efforts of one of the area's largest employers.
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort continued its tradition this week of donating turkeys for local families in need, delivering the birds to social service organizations in Hancock County.
On Friday, 64 turkeys were delivered to New Cumberland Social Service located at the New Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 400 turkeys were taken to the Weirton Salvation Army and 200 were distributed at the Community Bread Basket in Weirton.
Another 110 turkeys were distributed to the Mountaineer Chaplaincy and the Community Resource Center of East Liverpool on Thursday.
"We've always been active in community service," Nick Mavromatis, director of player development, said. "This is just one of the programs we do."
Mavromatis explained Mountaineer has been distributing turkeys to local agencies since 1998.
Representatives of Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort spent Friday delivering more than 600 turkeys to local agencies to help out those in need this Thanksgiving. Another 110 turkeys were distributed on Thursday. -- Craig Howell
Salvation Army Capt. Ed Long explained the annual contribution is a big help to the organization and allows them to focus their resources on providing assistance elsewhere, such as helping with utility payments and purchasing toys for Christmas.
"If we didn't receive them by donation, we would have to buy them," Long said.
Mountaineer also has held two recent food drives to benefit the Salvation Army, as well as collecting more than 500 toys to assist Toys for Tots.
"Mountaineer Casino is happy to be able to assist local charities once again during the Thanksgiving season with this turkey donation," General Manager Chris Kern said. "The holidays can be especially tough for families and these organizations will distribute the turkeys to families needing a little help putting Thanksgiving dinner on the table."
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)