Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway today donated $1.1 million to the Unified Government.
The funds will be divided into three parts -- $500,000 for charitable contributions to the community, $500,000 for three nonhost school districts, and $100,000 for parks and recreation.
The casino also had a cake-cutting ceremony for Hollywood Casino’s first anniversary.
Mayor Joe Reardon announced at the event that grant applications will be taken, starting today, at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation’s website, at gkccf.org. The grants will be targeted to improving community health.
The $500,000 will be divided into smaller grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 for nonprofits for use in in the community. The grants will be for one year.
Mayor Joe Reardon said that two years ago, the Unified Government Commission made a commitment to improving community health. Now, with the $500,000 donation from the casino, it will have the funding to make an impact on the health of residents, he said.
Bob Sheldon, vice president and general manager of Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, said the casino has created 755 new jobs in Wyandotte County, 40 percent of which went to local Wyandotte County residents.
It has spent $2 million locally on goods and services during 2012, and has provided about $30 million to the state in gaming taxes, according to Sheldon. Of that, $3.4 million goes to Wyandotte County, he added.
“We’re very happy with our first year of operations here,” Sheldon said.
All of the grants will go toward health, and the UG Commission has stated it wanted the grants to be matched, if possible. The UG Commission went through months of deciding how to distribute the casino charitable contributions. It set up an outside agency to screen applications. After they are screened, they will go to a committee appointed by the UG Commission, which will make the decision on who gets the grants. The UG Commission then has a final vote on approval of all the grants.