Employees of Odawa Casino also raised money by purchasing a "Bet Against Hunger" fundraiser t-shirt that could be worn with blue jeans, and they could also purchase bracelets. Team members also made weekly trips to Manna to volunteer their time to assist with whatever needed to be done. Employees also built sculptures out of canned goods provided by the casino, and guests and casino employees were encouraged to vote for their favorite creation by donating non-perishable food items in the totes next to the creation they liked the best. More than 7,500 cans were purchased by the Casino and were donated to Manna after the contest.
"The response from Odawa team members, as well as members of the community was fantastic. Not only did the Casino raise a substantial amount of money for a great cause, but everyone had fun while doing it," said Britta Erickson, Director of Marketing. As the final donation numbers were tallied, the monetary donation total came to $18,041, along with the 780 canned goods donated by voting.
The Manna Food Project is a non-profit organization established in 1987 to help feed the hungry throughout Northern Michigan. Manna operates a food bank, food pantry, and a "Food 4 Kids" backpack program. Manna serves as a food bank for more than 35 partner agencies in Antrim, Charlevoix, and Emmet Counties feeding over 60,000 families a year.
Owned and operated by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, the $140 million Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey opened in June, 2007 and features 1,200 slot machines, 25 table games, a 4 table Poker Room, several restaurants, a gift shop, a nightclub and a 137-room hotel.