Casino Lends a Helping Hand

Casino Lends a Helping Hand
By: Holly Brantley

CARUTHERSVILLE, MO --Casino Aztar in Caruthersville, Missouri escaped damage from the April 2nd tornado. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t feel the ravages of the storm. Of Casino Aztar’s 300 employees, 46 had homes damaged by the storm. Fifteen of those were destroyed. So, when the chips were down, the casino decided to help it’s people weather the storm.
David Ledford is one of the employees who lost just about everything. For nearly 10 years, Ledford has worked as an engineer for Casino Aztar. He says when Mother Nature dealt him a tough hand, Aztar didn’t fold on him. “They got a team together of 10 or so people,” said Ledford. “They helped me and my family for two days. But, they were not only helping me. They were going all over town.”
“We were able to set up a fund for our employees to allow them to get cash and area housing,” said Lisa McMahan, Casino Aztar’s Marketing Manager. Besides helping out their employees with damage, they also made sure the rest still had work to do. Even though the Casino was closed for a couple of days, McMahan says they paid employees to come in and help folks in Caruthersville clean up.
The Casino’s Expo Center usually holds concerts, but now it’s serving as a storage center for the Red Cross. Casino Aztar hopes it’s serving a winning hand to storm victims.
McMahan estimates Casino Aztar has donated an estimated $50,000 towards tornado relief in Caruthersville.