$25K Wasn't Enough. Wind Creek Surprises Losing Charities with $90K

By Sara K. Satullo | For lehighvalleylive.com - October 11, 2019

There were no losers in Wind Creek Bethlehem’s grand opening charity contest.

As part of its rebranding bash, the new operator of Bethlehem’s casino gave 10 local nonprofits a shot at winning $25,000 in a social media contest.

All of the organizations gathered Thursday afternoon in Emeril’s Chop House as Wind Creek Bethlehem President Brian Carr highlighted the work of each group, eagerly waiting to see if they’d won.

When Carr announced Via of the Lehigh Valley as the $25,000 winner, the other nonprofits gamely congratulated Via as a flurry of photos ensued.

And then from around the corner, a parade of more big checks appeared as Carr explained that Wind Creek had decided to give the other nonprofits $10,000 each.

Wind Creek Hospitality CEO and President Jay Dorris said during the grand opening ceremony the gaming arm of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians doesn’t put making money first. Of course that’s important, but Wind Creek first believes in investing in its properties and employees, he said.

He wants his employees to love their jobs so much they make every single visitor feel like the most important person to step on the property. This kind of service reaps the financial results Wind Creek wants to see and Wind Creek reinvests that money in its communities, Dorris said.

“We are truly excited to be here and be welcomed to the community,” he said.

Tribal Chairwoman Stephanie Bryan said Wind Creek hopes it has many opportunities to be a good neighbor.

Each nonprofit created a short video to highlight its organization, the work they do and what they’d put the $25,000 towards. And then anyone could vote for their favorite entry over 10 days. About 7,000 people voted, Carr said.

(If an organization explained how it planned to use the funding we included it below.)

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Sara K. Satullo