WEIRTON - Hundreds of less fortunate residents in the Northern Panhandle will be able to have a traditional big turkey dinner this Thanksgiving as a result of an annual program provided by one of the area's largest employers.
On Friday, officials from Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort visited three organizations in Hancock County to donate hundreds of turkeys for those in need.
In all, 400 turkeys were provided to the Salvation Army in Weirton, 200 turkeys were donated to the Community Bread Basket, and 60 turkeys were given to the New Cumberland Social Services.
Mountaineer has been providing the turkeys for local agencies for approximately 15 years.
"It's just a tradition now for Mountaineer to help those in need for the holidays," Nick Mavromatis, Mountaineer director of player development, said, adding a canned food drive also is planned at Mountaineer on Dec. 21.
"We would never be able to help so many families for Thanksgiving without the generosity of Mountaineer," Salvation Army Major Sue Dewan said.
Volunteers unload the 400 turkeys provided to the Salvation Army in Weirton Friday to assist with the organization's Thanksgiving food distribution. Another 200 turkeys were donated to the Community Bread Basket in Weirton, with 60 turkeys going to the New Cumberland Social Services. The turkeys were provided to the organizations by Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort. -- Craig Howell
Dewan explained the Salvation Army receives many donations from the community which assists in providing canned vegetables, potatoes and other food for the holidays, but the contribution from Mountaineer makes it extra special for the families receiving the dinners.
"Mountaineer has a long tradition of distributing turkeys to local charities and we are happy that we can once again assist those in need during this holiday season. The holidays can be especially tough for families who need a little help putting a Thanksgiving dinner on the table," Mountaineer General Manager Chris Kern said.
In addition to the deliveries Friday, 60 turkeys were provided to the Mountaineer Chaplaincy, 70 to FISH and 10 to the Community Resource Center of East Liverpool.
(Howell can be contacted at email@example.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)