Comanche Nation Gaming toy drive

Comanche Nation Gaming employees, from left, Meagan Whetzel, Renee Swagerty-Alford, Stephen Welch and Roberto Thompson, surround one of 12 pallets stuffed with toys and ready for distribution, along with the Comanche Nation Injury Prevention Coat Drive collection box. Giving back to the community is the season’s reason, according to Sally Hollingsworth, marketing director.

Comanche Nation Gaming is making the holiday season have a real reason with its drives to help those in need in the community.

Through the Comanche Nation Casino, as well as the venues at the Red River, Star and Spur locations, the annual Toy Drive is giving the spirit of Christmas to children in need.

Every Wednesday through Nov. 27, patrons to the venues who come between noon and 10 p.m. and bring a new toy valued between $5 to $25, will receive double the amount spent in Comanche Credit with the showing of the receipt. This goes up to $50 in gaming credit.

Sally Hollingsworth, marketing manager for the enterprise, said patrons have responded with much kindness and spirit as she showed off a pair of fully-filled pallets of toys to be shared.

“Isn’t that awesome,” she exclaimed. “This year we’ve got even more toys than last year.”

Last year’s toy drive brought in over $100,000 worth of toys that were given out to kids in need of a Christmas pick-me-up. She said there’s easily been over $50,000 worth of items donated this year so far with over 12 pallets of goods collected so far.

The casinos have partnered with the Comanche Nation, the Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce and Team Jaden to make this event something special, Hollingsworth said. The toys will be distributed through these groups. This is the first year they’re going out under the motto of “Comanche Cares.”

“What I like about what we do is we’re giving back to the community,” she said.

Security Officer Roberto Thompson honed into the main people to reap the benefits.

“When you think about it,” he said, “it really is about the children.”

Hollingsworth said the casino is also a drop spot for those who want to provide warmth to those in need as the temperature continues to drop.

The Comanche Nation Injury Prevention Coat Drive is going on for another week. Donations of new or used coats for tribal members are welcome. From infants to adult sizes, donations are ready to find bodies to warm, Hollingsworth said. Several coats were donated overnight Tuesday at the casino.

To help with the coat drive, call Injury Prevention, 580-492-3343; or 580-492-3277.

Written by Scott Rains: srains@swoknews.com.

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