Ameristar teams up with Salvation Army to raise much-needed funds

Published 4:17 pm Friday, November 13, 2015

Ameristar Casino and the Salvation Army teamed up to raise money by hosting a concert featuring Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monsters Thursday at Ameristar’s Bottleneck Blues Bar. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts were served from 6:30 to until 7:30 p.m. with a cash bar available, and the band hit the stage at 8:30 p.m.

“They play anywhere from ’70s to ’80s music,” Jaque Poirier, vice president of casino operations at Ameristar, said previously. “They have giant wigs. They’re a lot of fun to watch.”

Ameristar Casino public relations manager Lori Burke said the decision to partner with the Salvation Army for the event was an easy one.

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“A few months ago there was an article in The Vicksburg Post about how the Salvation Army was in need, so we started looking at ways we could help them,” she said.

The concert was already scheduled, so Ameristar officials decided to donate the proceeds to Salvation Army.

“We thought it was a great way to help the Salvation Army,” she said. “It’s not only a fundraiser, but it’s something where people can eat and drink and hear a good band, plus they’re supporting the Salvation Army.”

A costume contest was held at the show where the top three people decked out in their best ’80s gear won cash prizes. Those in the giving spirit were also able to make cash donations or buy tickets for door prizes at the event.

Burke said the partnership with the Salvation Army isn’t new, adding they help the organization with the Angel Tree program, the kettle drive, the food pantry and other benefits.

“We feel that they’re a vital part of our community,” she said.

Salvation Army Captain Srikant Bhatnagar said Ameristar Casino supports the organization all year long through the various opportunities the Salvation Army offers for people and organizations to donate time and money.

“This partnership is not the first time,” he said. “This is the first time they are providing the funds and coming with a plan to raise money for the Salvation Army. That’s a great partnership I think. They are helping the people in our community.”

Kamace Priest of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary of Vicksburg said the event raised around $2,500 for the Salvation Army, and all money raised will go directly to the Salvation Army for use in their programs including an afterschool robotics course for students in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Salvation Army’s food bank among others.

“Our money will be used for social services such as families, rental assistance, utility assistance,” Priest said previously.