Empire Toy Drive


November 14, 2018 – Gander Group is partnering with kathy ireland® Worldwide in support of the 12th Annual Christmas Spirit Coat and Toy Drive organized by  Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, and its President/CEO, Timothy J. Rooney

“Our organization is honored to participate in this cause. Bringing smiles to the faces of children and their parents is the highlight of this season for me. We are humbled by the generosity of this community and are committed to help anyway we can.” says Josh Blake, CEO of Costa Mesa, California-based Gander Group, one of the casino industry’s leading manufacturers and distributors of consumer products and national brands, which has donated thousands of toys to the annual charity event for eight consecutive years. 

kathy ireland® Worldwide, which recently partnered with Gander Group for    kathy ireland® branded products exclusive to the North American casino marketplace, will also partner with Gander Group for the Christmas Spirit Coat and Toy Drive.   

“We are thrilled to join Gander Group and Empire City Casino, in their effort and determination to make the Holiday Season a happy one for struggling families, and especially their young ones,” says entrepreneur/philanthropist Kathy Ireland®, Chair, CEO and Chief Designer of kiWW®.  “I urge everyone to join our mission in ensuring that every child this Holiday Season has a coat to warm their body and Christmas toys to warm their spirit,” adds Ms. Ireland.    

“There are no greater deeds than charity and service,” says Timothy J. RooneyPresident & CEO of Empire City Casino. “No act of kindness or generosity is ever too small.” 

The giving program begins on November 15 and continues through December 15. Donations will be accepted every day throughout the period at any of the casino’s promotions booths. Patrons are asked to bring new, unwrapped toys and/or new or gently used coats. The items will be donated to Catholic Charities and the Yonkers-based Aisling Irish Community Center to assist the organizations’ local families this upcoming holiday season. 

The Coat and Toy Drive has become a holiday tradition at Empire City Casino, with more than 10,000 toys and 3,500 coats donated since its inception in 2007. 

About Gander Group 

Gander Group is a product development and merchandising leader in the US, specializing in the gaming industry. With nearly a century of combined marketing and product development experience, Gander Group has partnered with internationally recognized brands and hundreds of casinos across North America. Focused on ROI, profit margin, and customer retention, the Gander Group utilizes decades of expert know-how, data analytics, global logistics, obsessive quality control, extraordinary showcase-level creative, and a passion for getting their client’s the results they are looking for. 

About kathy ireland® Worldwide (kiWW®) 

kiWW® is listed as one of the most powerful brands in the world by License Global Magazine. Kathy Ireland is named one of the 19 most influential women in licensing by License Global magazine and according to Fairchild Publications, Kathy Ireland is one of the 50 most influential people in fashion. Furniture Today names Kathy one of the most influential leaders in the furniture industry. Kathy graces the cover of Forbes Magazine twice (2012, 2016). kiWW® is responsible for billions of dollars in retail sales. kiWW® is the recipient of multiple awards including several Good Housekeeping Seals. Kathy and kiWW® support many non-profits including: YWCA Greater Los Angeles for which she is an Ambassador, Dream Foundation, Providence Educational Foundation, 911 for Kids/AEF, and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Kathy is named an Ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation 

About Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway

Empire City Casino is one of the largest entertainment and gaming destinations in the northeast. Featuring 5,300 of the hottest slots, electronic three card poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat and sic bo, Empire City Casino also offers guests year-round harness racing and International simulcasting, live entertainment including the best party, tribute and Latin bands, comedy, New York’s hottest DJ’s, and more. A plethora of dining options will satisfy even the most discerning palate with Italian cuisine at Nonno’s Trattoria; Dan Rooney’s, a high-energy sports bar; Alley 810, a craft cocktail lounge with retro bowling lanes; and convenient delicious options at the International Food Court or Lil’ Cocina. Visit Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway located at 810 Yonkers Avenue (off I-87 at Central Avenue) Yonkers, NY, Westchester County, open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Visit www.empirecitycasino.com or call 914.968.4200 for information. 

Media Contacts

Gander Group 

Adam Stack, Creative Director 


949-791-6519 Tel 

Kathy Ireland / kiWW 

Rona Menashe, Executive V.P. 


310-246-4600 Tel 

Empire City Casino, 

Lindsay Salandra, Public Relations Manager, 


Contact Gander Group

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