PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Rivers Casino Portsmouth has announced plans to launch its longstanding community engagement program, “Rivers Gives” in Hampton Roads.

The program, according to a news release, “aims to support and enhance the quality of life for all residents in the local community.”

It is launching with a $20,000 contribution and nonperishable food donation to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore to support its annual Mayflower Marathon – a food and fund drive taking place Friday through Sunday for 57 consecutive hours.

The staff of Rivers Casino Portsmouth, which is set to open in early 2023, will also provide a truck-full of nonperishable food and volunteer support for the food drive, helping collect, sort and distribute donations for local families facing food insecurity.

“Community partnerships are the lifeblood of our organization, and we are very pleased that Rivers Casino Portsmouth is joining the Foodbank in its commitment to end food insecurity,” said Christopher Tan, Foodbank president and CEO. “By giving funding, time through volunteers and food, they are demonstrating that they are making great efforts to join our community as good neighbors.”

“Rivers Gives” is a program with five pillars:

  • Volunteerism
  • Board service
  • Donation drives
  • In-kind contributions
  • Corporate giving

“Rivers Casino Portsmouth is committed to being a good community partner,” said Rivers Casino’s general manager Roy Corby, “and our local team embraces the spirit of philanthropy that’s so deeply embedded in our company culture.

“Through Rivers Gives, we look forward to exploring new partnerships that will improve the quality of life for residents in the city of Portsmouth and throughout the region.”

In that effort, it said it has already supported several local organizations, community initiatives and events, including the Patriotic Festival, Portsmouth PRIDE Festival, the Urban League of Hampton Roads (Juneteenth Freedom Day), the Virginia Aquarium, Nauticus (Sailfest), the Wesley Community Service Center, Fil Fest and the Norfolk State University Foundation (Spartan Legion Marching Band), among others.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth broke ground on its new facility in December 2021, and earlier this yera, celebrated a construction milestone with the completion of the steel framing for its new gaming and entertainment complex on Victory Boulevard. In August, the casino unveiled seven new restaurants and amenities.

Melissa Ramsey, Rivers Casino’s director of community relations, said it is intentional about partnering with organizations and initiatives that help the community.

“As we approach the holiday season, we are excited to officially launch our ongoing Rivers Gives program in partnership with the Foodbank,” Ramsey said, “an organization that has been at the forefront of addressing food insecurity and helping some of the most vulnerable families in the city of Portsmouth and throughout the region.”