BRIGHTON — The Seminole Brighton Casino is not always fun and games. When it comes to giving back to the community, the casino makes it a mission to provide assistance to organizations
that need it most. The charitable gestures have not gone unnoticed.
Ridge Area Arc of Highlands County awarded Seminole Brighton Casino with the 2016 Arc Hero of the Year award for its continuous support to the organization. The award was designed to recognize an individual or group who has provided ongoing services and/or resources to promote Arc’s mission. The casino has worked with Ridge Area Arc, which is dedicated to serving and advocating for people who have developmental and other disabilities, for the past two years.
Brian Zappettini, the casino’s director of marketing, said it is important for the casino, as well as other community organizations, to know neighbors and get involved with local initiatives.
“We want to be known as a good community citizen while getting our employees involved with terrific causes, such as the Arc,” he explained. “The history of this organization is long and deeply rooted in the community.”
Since 2015, the casino has built floats for Ridge Area Arc participants to use during the annual Christmas parades in Sebring and Okeechobee — even building one float with blowing snow as part of a Winter Wonderland theme. Additionally, the casino continuously invites members of the Arc to attend the casino’s private Christmas party, and has presented the organization with a $5,000 check the past two years.
The Arc and the casino became acquainted through the casino’s Christmas Wish promotional event. Through the event, the casino learns of Christmas wishes that casino players desire. With a little help from Santa Claus, the casino tries to grant as many wishes as possible — from gifts to flying in a missed relative from out of town. The casino decided to help the Arc when it became aware that the organization would not be able to provide many of its members with gifts.
The casino intends to plan more events and collaborations with the Arc, as well as other charitable organizations.