FORT LAUDERDALE — President Mitchell Cypress, his office staff and the Seminole Hard Rock kick-started the giving season Nov. 18 with a donation to Essie “Big Mama” Reed’s Team of Life organization, which donates food to the needy for Thanksgiving and toys for children at Christmas.
A $5,000 check was presented to Reed at the charity’s Fort Lauderdale headquarters by Bill Wright, president of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood; Susan Renneisen, vice president community affairs and special events; and Luis Acevedo, Board of Directors senior analyst.
“This check means it will take care of a multitude of families for the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Reed, whose organization serves 3,000 to 4,000 children in Broward County annually. “We will be able to get a lot of turkeys and all the trimmings for them.”
Team of Life’s mission is to “help others in need with a selfless passion for excellence in education, social advancement and community involvement through values-based encouragement and programs,” according to the organization’s website.
Reed said Team of Life has served the community for 35 years.
“Two of the Hard Rock mottos are ‘Take time to be kind’ and ‘Love all, serve all,’” Wright said. “Giving back to the community is so very important. Because of their work and selfless dedication to helping children in our community, the Seminole Hard Rock & Casino is proud to help Big Mama.”
Team of Life and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital will receive toys from the President’s toy drive, to be held Dec. 3-5. President Cypress and Santa Claus will deliver toys to patients at Joe DiMaggio in Hollywood.
A second delivery will be made to Big Mama’s Team of Life. Seminole veterans will volunteer at the event and also coordinate another delivery of toys to Clewiston and Moore Haven.
Donations of new, unwrapped toys can be made on every reservation or during the President’s toy drive in the parking lot of Classic Casino at the corner of Stirling Road and U.S. 441 in Hollywood.
Call 954-967-3700 for details.