COMMUNITY SERVICE: Cherokee Casino Resort employees participate in “Keep Catoosa Beautiful,??? one of the many 2007 community service projects for which the company was recently recognized.
Courtesy Cherokee Nation Enterprises
Cherokee Nation Enterprises, which operates Cherokee Casinos, took home the top award for community service projects at the Stars of the Industry Awards ceremony held annually in January.
The Oklahoma Hotel and Lodging Association presented the awards at the Oklahoma State University Alumni Center in Stillwater. The program honors Oklahoma’s outstanding hospitality companies and professionals for their service and commitment to the guest service and hospitality industry.
“We are ecstatic to receive this award,” says David Stewart, CEO of Cherokee Nation Enterprises. “As a company we are committed to supporting our local communities across northeastern Oklahoma. This doesn’t happen without our generous employees who have worked so hard throughout the year committing extra time outside of work for community projects. We’re excited about the recognition of our community involvement.”
CNE owns seven Cherokee Casinos and three hotels in Oklahoma, including Cherokee Casino Resort and Cherokee Casino Inn, both of Catoosa, and Cherokee Casino Inn, Roland. A fourth hotel property is currently under construction in West Siloam Springs and is expected to open in late 2008.
The award was based on service projects completed in 2007 across all seven communities in which Cherokee Casino has locations. The seven properties are located in Rogers, Delaware, Sequoyah, Cherokee and Muskogee Counties.
In 2007, Cherokee Casinos held several charitable drives as both internal and external fundraisers. CNE’s 3,200 employees donated more than 2,600 pounds of canned food to needy families during the winter holidays and countless toys to children in the Cherokee Nation Angel Tree program and the Hope House Crisis Center of Adair County. Cherokee Casino Resort has also hosted external fundraising drives benefiting CancerSucks.com and Therapetics Service Dogs of Oklahoma.
Other events include: biking in the MS150 Bike Ride benefiting the Multiple Sclerosis Society; walking in Relay for Life benefiting the American Cancer Society; cleaning up the vandalized Kansas, Okla. American Legion Hall; and taking part in cleanup efforts for two casino Adopt-A-Highway sponsorships and a citywide cleanup day for Catoosa. Cherokee Casinos also hold numerous blood drives throughout the year collecting vital blood supplies for the American Red Cross.
In addition, CNE employees donate thousands of dollars each month to local organizations through employee fundraiser “jeans day” donations. On designated “jeans days,” held monthly, employees can deviate from the normal dress code and wear jeans in exchange for a $5 donation to a chosen charity. Recipient organizations have included: American Red Cross, American Heart Association, Therapetics, local troops stationed in Iraq, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Rogers County, northeastern Oklahoma pet shelters, and the Cherokee County DHS Teen Adoption program, among others.