Vernon, NY — In conjunction with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and the Food Bank of Central New York, both Vernon Downs Casino Hotel and Tioga Downs Casino Resort recently hosted events to provide the community with free, nutritious meals during this difficult time when many are struggling.
Vernon Downs hosted a Nourish New York Food Distribution event on March 27, supplying 825 households with various locally sourced fresh produce and dairy items via a drive-thru, in addition to a $50,000 donation to the Food Bank of Central New York on Feb. 26. Tioga Downs provided 5,000 Easter dinners in addition to a $100,000 gift to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and additional meals distributed to 62 various agencies.
Jeff Gural, Chairman/CEO of American Racing and Entertainment, has long been committed to addressing food insecurity by supporting the Food Bank of the Southern Tier through its annual holiday turkey drive. Since 2009, Vernon Downs Casino Hotel and Gural have contributed more than $630,000 to the Food Bank of Central New York, resulting in more than 1.9 million meals for the community.
Both Tioga and Vernon Downs are acclaimed for state-of-the-art harness racing facilities located in scenic Upstate New York locations. Open from April to November, Vernon Downs is home to some of harness racing’s premier stakes events including the Empire Breeders Classic, Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial Trot, and several New York Sire Stakes races. Opening day for harness racing this year is April 17 and the highly anticipated Empire Breeders Classic will take place June 18.
Tioga Downs, which originated as a Quarter Horse race track, was revived and refurbished as a harness racetrack in 2006. Tioga Downs is home to the Roll With Joe Open Pace sponsored by Blue Chip Farm, Tompkins-Geers Grand Circuit stakes, the Empire Breeders Classic and the New York Sire Stakes. Opening day for harness racing at Tioga Downs is May 1 and the Empire Breeders Classic finals, a race fan favorite, takes place on Aug. 29.