Casinos helping kids
South Florida casinos are participating in toy drives this month, including two that have taken place. On Sunday Mardi Gras Casino (831 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-924-3200, MardiGrasCasinoFL.com was the starting place for the annual South Florida President’s Council Toys in the Sun Run, in which thousands of motorcyclists rode to Markham Park in Sunrise. The bikers, as well as other visitors to the casino and park, donated toys and money. The toys will go to needy families throughout South Florida and the money will go to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation. Visitors to Seminole Classic Casino (4150 N. State Road 7, 954-961-3220, SeminoleClassicCasino.com from Dec. 3 to 5 donated about 2,000 toys to be delivered to the same children’s hospital as well as to Team of Life in Fort Lauderdale. But casino-goers still have chances to help kids in need. Through Sunday, gamblers who drop off new, unwrapped toys at Calder Casino (21001 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens, 305-625-1311, CalderRaceCourse.com) will receive $5 in free play, in addition to the simple joy of giving. Matt Harper, Calder’s advertising and public relations manager, says, “All proceeds benefit the Voices for Children Foundation, Inc., a Miami-based nonprofit which raises funds to ensure that every abused, abandoned and neglected child in Miami-Dade County has a court-appointed guardian ad litem, and that financial assistance and other resources are available for their health, educational and social needs.” Isle Casino Racing (777 Isle of Capri Circle, Pompano Beach, 954-972-2000, TheIslePompanoPark.com) will be hosting its Toys for Tots Slot Tournament on Thursday. Visitors may donate new, unwrapped toys from 4 to 8 p.m. And Casino Miami (3500 NW 37th Ave., Miami, 305-633-6400, CasinoMiamiJaiAlai.com) is having its annual Toys for Tots collection until Dec. 19, with toys being picked up by U.S. Marines and donated to underprivileged kids in the community.