Story Sponsored by: Wind River Hotel & Casino  

(Riverton, Wyo.) – Making his list and checking it twice - 794 children made Santa’s list this year.

On Monday, staff from the Wind River Hotel and Casino shopped for, and delivered Christmas gifts for children in need to help make their holiday season more cheerful. Funds for the gifts were raised by Slots for Tots, which is an annual slot tournament held every December at the Wind River Casino.

“This is a way of giving back to the community,” Wind River Casino IT Director and Slots for Tots Organizer Robert Duran said. “Some of these programs rely on the gifts.”

In its fourth year, Slots for Tots has helped over 1,000 children in foster care receive a Christmas gift. This year, 794 children can look forward to a gift. All presents were delivered to the Northern Arapaho Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and the Northern Arapaho and Riverton Department of Family Services. Each agency will then wrap each present and deliver the gifts before Christmas.

“It has grown,” Wind River Casino Executive Secretary and Slots for Tots Organizer Karen Black said. “It has gotten bigger and bigger and bigger every year.”

In addition to Slots for Tots, the casino also hosts charity basketball games called Hoops for Tots. These games are held throughout the year and all proceeds go towards the Slots for Tots campaign. In the end, the casino matches funds raised from the slot tournament and the basketball games.

Being a foster parent himself, volunteer Sterling Black said, “Opening a gift on Christmas morning gives these children hope. It shows them that somebody out there cares for them.” 

Wind River Casino employees deliver Christmas toys to the Northern Arapaho Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Funds to purchase the gifts came from the annual slot tournament Slots for Tots.