Feed a Family

The Aquarius Casino Resort and Edgewater Casino Resort are hosting the annual Feed a Family fundraiser this year to donate Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to local families in need. Since the program began in 2012, Aquarius and Edgewater have fed 16,256 families.

Aquarius and Edgewater General Manager Jeremy Jenson said they are happy to help fulfill a need in our community.

“It’s an honor for us to just be a part of the community and give back where we can,” he said. ” There’s just a lot of people out there struggling right now. It’s been difficult times for everyone. We try to do anything that we can  to give back and help people out in these tough times, and especially at the holidays.”

The fundraiser began Nov.1 and runs through Dec. 25. Guests can contribute by donating their True Rewards points, or by cash or credit card at the True Rewards Center within the casinos. In the first 10 days of the fundraiser this year, Jenson said they have already raised enough to feed 220 families, a good start on their goal of feeding 2,500 families this season.

Guests can give as many or as few points as they’d like. It takes 25,000 points to buy one food box, but it is not necessary for one person to donate the full 25,000 points. Guests may donate however many points they would like and they will be pooled together to make the full 25,000, which equates to $25 for a meal to feed a family of four. Each food box contains a 7-pound ham or a 12-pound turkey, and all of the fixings.

The food boxes are distributed among the ACS Food Bank, Bullhead City Homeless Youth Program, Colorado River Food Bank, Cornerstone Mission Food for Families, Golden Valley Family Resources, Havasu Community Health Foundation Food Bank, Isabel’s Pantry, Kingman Food Bank, Mohave Valley Food Pantry, Nana’s Pantry, Needles Community Partners, Set Free Church and St. Vincent de Paul.

There is no shortage of Christmas spirit at the Aquarius, so to raise additional funds for the Feed a Family program, they started an annual Christmas Tree Auction.

The Aquarius invites Epic, Legit and Solid reward members to a slot tournament this Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 26-27, with the entry fee being an ornament to place on the trees. Each year players are eager to donate ornaments, and even guests who could not make the tournament have graciously mailed in ornaments as a donation to the cause. It’s not uncommon for the trees to be packed with 500 or more ornaments from the generous players.

The casino hosts will decorate the trees right on the casino floor over the weekend after Thanksgiving. There will be 10 trees to bid on in the Aquarius Lobby and five trees at the Edgewater.All 15 are 7.5-foot, pre-lit Christmas trees, individually themed with a skirt and topper.

Some of the themes this year include Candyland, Beauty and the Beast, Santa Paws Christmas, Hot Wheels, Santa’s Workshop, Christmas Gnomes, Peppermint Patty Twist, Snowy Arctic and Wizard of Oz. Make sure to stop by both casinos and view all of the unique trees.

Bidding is from Nov. 27-Dec. 20. The bid starts at $400 per tree, and must continue in $50 increments. If you leave your name and email, the casino will contact you if you get outbid and ask if you want to increase your bid. Or, if there’s one you really love, you can buy a tree outright for $1,850 and they will pull it off the auction block. With an $1,850 donation, you would be feeding 74 families.

Every year there is typically a few secret Santas that will buy a tree and then donate them back to the casino to find a local family in need. They then deliver the donated trees to families who otherwise wouldn’t have the Christmas centerpiece in their home.

Last year the trees brought in a whopping $17,700, which fed 708 families. In total donations, they met their goal last year by feeding 2,510 families, or 10,040 people in the community.

Stop by the Aquarius and Edgewater casinos after Thanksgiving weekend to check out these gorgeous trees and bid or donate cash at the True Rewards Center to help feed families in Laughlin, Kingman, Bullhead City, Fort Mohave, Needles and Lake Havasu City this holiday season.

Another chance to help the cause is by attending the Laughlin Chamber’s upcoming Jingle and Mingle Mixer at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6 at the Pavilion inside the Aquarius. The event is for ages 21 and older. There is a $20 admission fee at the door with proceeds benefitting Feed a Family.