TEMECULA, Calif. – (April 18, 2017) – Spring cleaning at Pechanga Resort & Casino washed up $40,000 that will go toward food for Riverside County children without enough to eat. One hundred and one five-gallon buckets filled with coins totaling $40,000 were donated to Feeding America Riverside-San Bernardino Counties on Tuesday. The millions of coins were fished out of Pechanga Resort & Casino’s water features recently. Food bank representatives joined Pechanga’s leaders at the North Entrance waterfall feature for a “big coin” presentation. Feeding America Riverside-San Bernardino already has plans for the sizable donation. They will be launching three school pantry programs at low income, high need elementary schools in Lake Elsinore and Temecula.
“This gift from Pechanga will help alleviate child hunger in our region through the provision of food to children and their families at school,” said Stuart Haniff, Chief Philanthropy Officer for Feeding America Riverside/ San Bernardino.
Feeding America estimates the new school pantry program will provide 1,600 students in need with food they would otherwise not have access to, totaling more than 16,000 pounds of food per month. Pechanga has donated the money collected from its fountains to charities in Southern California for more than 15 years. The previous coin donation went to Western Eagle Foundation in Temecula which also provides food for underserved families.
“Every coin collected represents a wish, a chance of good luck, a hope for improved circumstances or outcomes,” said Edith Atwood, President of the Pechanga Development Corporation. “These wishes are making those hopes a reality for hundreds of children and their families by putting proper, nutritious food on their tables, positively impacting their growth and development.”
Feeding America Riverside/San Bernardino Counties was selected to receive the coin windfall thanks to Pechanga Resort & Casino team members. The Pechanga board put the call out to team members to elect the winning charity. More than 600 people voted and Feeding America won with a 31-percent margin over seven additional worthy charities.
Pechanga has several water features throughout its resort property including waterfalls flanking the North Casino Entrance, the two-story rainfall chandeliers in the hotel lobby and the water wall outside the high limit gaming salon. Coins were collected from each, as well as from the serene koi pond formerly located outside the hotel entrance. Fountain coins are typically collected and sorted approximately every two years.