BANGOR, Maine — The Hollywood Casino Bangor presented a $46,000 check to the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter this week.
The money was raised all summer long by charging a $20 charity fee to people parking at the casino during its concerts.
This year was the first full season it’s been able to collect the charity fee and is the largest check the casino has given out in its 17-year history.
“This number exceeded all expectations we could have possibly had. We thought there might be a chance to reach $50,000. Maybe that will be our goal for next year!” Austin Muchemore, the general manager at Hollywood Casino Bangor, said.
The casino did collect donations during last year’s concert season, but due to the pandemic, the number of concerts was reduced significantly.
This July was the first concert of the season for Hollywood Casino Bangor. They ended up hosting 26 concerts over the course of the summer, with over 2,000 people donating to the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.
"It's a big deal. We've gotten a donation from Hannaford for $50,000. This is one of the bigger donations that we've had, and this time of year our prices for natural gas for heating have gone up. Our prices for electricity have gone up. Our labor costs have gone up. So, with that inflation that has hit, like it's hit everyone, that will really help tighten up and helps us meet our budgetary goals." Boyd Kronholm, the Executive Director of the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, said.
Kronholm went on to add that the charity currently shelters between 300 and 400 people in its overnight program.
One-third of their budget for such programs comes from federal or state funds. The rest is provided through grants and donations like the one made by Hollywood Casino Bangor
"The timing was perfect. It's getting cold. They are seeing a lot of increase in expenses, and so, we're just thrilled to be able to help this group that does so much good for this area," Muchemore said.