Wind River Casino Buys Gifts for 700+ Children

 Victoria Fregoso reports, vfregoso@k2tv.com

 The Wind River Casino is making Christmas wishes come true for over 700 children in Fremont County.



 Toy after toy and game, after game, employees with the Wind River Casino are stacking these shopping carts to the max.

"Pretty much anybody that opens up a present is going to be really surprised," said Alvina Aragon with the Wind River Casino. "Because we did do a really good job on shopping."

The money used to purchase these toys came from the casino's annual "Slots For Tots" slot tournament.

"We held it last Saturday, we had 20 sessions, 10 people at each session and then the casino matched the amount of money that we made from there," said Robert Duran, IT Director at the Wind River Casino.

And combined with the proceeds from a benefit basketball game, they raised a tremendous amount of cash.

"All together we had around $8,600 and we bought toys for over 700 kids," said Duran.

The toys will go to three different agencies this year, the Northern Arapaho and Riverton Departments of Family Services and the Northern Arapaho Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

"It makes all of us feel real good because everybody knows somebody that's in need," said Aragon. "And it's just too bad that we can't do everybody, but the ones that we do know of, we do try to help."

With 13 employees scattered through out the store following lists broken up by age categories, it only took them one hour to round up all the toys.

Then it was off to their first stop at Northern Arapaho TANF where over 200 families are assisted every year.

One by one, each bag of Christmas goodies was unloaded.

"It was exciting to know that our clients are going to be able to recieve a gift for Christmas," said Annette Shakespeare, Case Manager at TANF.

So how does it feel to shop for over 700 children?

"You know, it feels good. We're getting ready for next year though," said Duran.