Ameristar shows it actually Cares

Jun 18, 2007 5:23 AM

Private eyes, they’re watching you (clap, clap), they see your every move. At least they do at Colorado Easter Seals Seniors Program, Day Stroke Program and Rocky Mountain Village Camp in Empire, thanks to the Ameristar Cares corporate giving program.

The donation was in response to being told by the Easter Seals Colorado organization about problems including their Lakewood office receiving recent "tagging" vandalism. Also, a car was stolen from their parking lot.

Ameristar leveraged local vendors to help, and was able to provide the Easter Seals office with cameras, all the cable, installation from Southern Cross, and even training and set up from their surveillance group.

This community involvement effort is only one of in which Ameristar and select other Colorado casinos participate. Of course, corporate philanthropy is not new. Some of America’s major companies have long standing programs such as the Milton Hershey School, Ronald McDonald House, and Whirlpool’s Appliances for Habitat for Humanity endeavor.

Donations of goods and services that reflect core competencies such as Ameristar’s providing of surveillance systems (including the labor to implement it) and Whirlpool’s gift of refrigerators and ranges is a more effective way to assist than simply writing a check.

The cynic might sneer that the giving is only for tax assessment relief or to garner publicity for respective products. Others who roll their eyes might suggest that the company donations are meant to alleviate guilt of the eventual purchasers (e.g., see”¦ all of the money isn’t going to a faceless corporation).

Admittedly, there are times when I feel a little (South Park) Cartman-esque. At upscale, organically oriented grocery stores they offer the tasty but still hippy-dippy Peace brand cereal where 10% of profits go to the somewhat ephemeral goal of promoting peace.

For those who own stock in the good people of Halliburton and General Dynamics (these guys have helped the issue of population control for years by developing more effective ways of killing — sarcasm intended), the allure of promoting peace is counter-intuitive. I often wonder if I can just purchase the savory toasted oats for 10% less if I can swallow the cereal but not the corporate philosophy (again, a joke).

While some organizations such as "fair trade" groups attempt to ensure that growers of coffee and other cash crops are paid a livable wage, the reality of market forces still allow for a substitute product to be offered in outlets.

What makes Black Hawk Ameristar’s donation notable is how much common sense it makes. Surveillance is a skill mastered by casinos, a surveillance need is noted by the Easter Seals, and Ameristar fulfills a very real and immediate objective — to help keep Easter Seals in Colorado safe to pursue its work.

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