If you’ve turned on the TV or driven around town over the past few weeks, you’ve likely noticed a lot of extra pink sprinkled into your surroundings. If you weren’t already aware, this is because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The pinkest month of the year was founded in 1985 as the result of a partnership between the American Cancer Society and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in order to promote proactive steps against the progression of breast cancer. These days, Breast Cancer Awareness Month has grown into a global phenomenon, with everyone from actors and athletes to local organizations sporting their pink attire in order to raise awareness.
The casino industry has long been admired for its considerable contributions to the health and education of people around the globe, and this month has been no different. On Sunday, the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians, in partnership with the Black Oak Casino Resorts, donated an impressive $100,000 to the construction of the new Sonora Regional Medical Center’s Cancer Center in Sonora, California. The resort and the tribal council each made equal donations of $50,000 toward the campaign for the center’s expansion, which commenced last year.
In total, the new cancer center initiative has raised $1.9 million to date with a goal of $3 million by the end of this year. If successfully funded, the 64,000 square foot cancer center is expected to open by 2017. In a release announcing the donation, Ron Patel, chief executive officer of Black Oak Casino Resort, stated that the tribe and casino are ‘delighted to be able to contribute’ to what he called a ‘much-needed state of the art cancer facility’.
Black Oak Casino Resort is owned and operated by the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians in Tuolumne, California. In total, the casino includes nearly 165,000 square feet of gaming and entertainment options – including 1,300 slot machines, 26 table games, a high limit gaming area, a bowling center, a live entertainment lounge and a kids arcade. The complex also features a 148-room hotel, a conference event center and complimentary valet parking services.
This donation is the latest in a long line of breast cancer awareness activities offered by the casino industry. In the United Kingdom, Aspers Casino transformed its blackjack tables into Pinkjack in order to raise awareness of the international month of fundraising, with customers encouraged to donate their winnings to leading breast cancer charities. The British casino also pledged to make a donation to charity for every glass of wine sold in its award-winning restaurant throughout October.
While the casino industry is often hailed for its contributions to local economies and tax funds, the actions of these casinos highlight the industry’s overarching commitment to the well-being of communities around the world. With near-constant headlines of casinos making donations to schools, infrastructure and charities, it’s no wonder that markets across the country are making efforts to expand the national gaming market. Offering a great way to relax and have fun while also contributing to great causes, casinos are playing an increasingly positive role in all parts of modern society.