Bronx residents, elected officials step up to assist with emergency blood shortage at Empire City Casino

Donate Blood written on a sandwich board sign
 Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts partnered with the New York Blood Center to host a community blood drive on June 22, at Empire City Casino.
Photo courtesy Getty Images

With local blood supplies at their lowest recent levels in the New York region, Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts (Empire City) once again partnered with the New York Blood Center (NYBC) to host a community blood drive on June 22, at Empire City Casino. Also supporting the cause were state elected officials from the Bronx and Westchester, including Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Sens. Alessandra Biaggi and Shelley Mayer, as well as state assemblymembers Michael Benedetto, Yudelka Tapia and Nader Sayegh.

As the region works to recover from an ongoing blood shortage emergency, the annual blood drive provided an opportunity to raise awareness of the vital need for regular blood donations. The drive was a collaboration between Empire City Casino and area elected officials. Sitting less than two miles from the Bronx border, Empire City has long been a significant employer of Bronx residents, in addition to being a popular entertainment destination for borough residents. The participation of Bronx residents was critical to the success of the blood drive which collected vital donations from nearly 50 participants, which were delivered to local area hospitals within 24-48 hours for patient use.

“The reason to give blood is simple, it helps save lives,” said Stewart-Cousins. “That’s why this annual blood drive by Empire City Casino and the New York Blood Center is so vitally important.”

“In the wake of the pandemic, access to blood donations has become increasingly difficult,” said Biaggi. “Now more than ever, giving blood can make all the difference in saving lives. I’d like to thank the New York Blood Center and Empire City Casino for organizing and hosting this blood drive to ensure that we are boosting New York’s blood supply and supporting New Yorkers in need.”

MGM Resorts acquired Empire City Casino in January 2019 and brought to New York its strong commitment to corporate social responsibility. Through this commitment, Empire City continues to support the critical need for donor participation through an annual blood drive. New York Blood Center currently only has a two- to three-day supply of blood, which is well-below what is typically needed by local area hospitals to treat patients ranging from trauma victims, newborn babies and their mothers, to cancer patients and beyond.

“Volunteerism and philanthropy are deeply ingrained in the company culture of MGM Resorts and its workforce across the country,” said Ed Domingo, senior vice president and general manager of Empire City Casino. “Empire City is part of the fabric of our surrounding communities, and it is through partnerships with organizations like New York Blood Center and the collaborative efforts of our elected leaders that allow us to amplify the impact of these efforts.”

Nationally, more than 4.5 million Americans require a blood transfusion annually, with an individual needing blood every two seconds. Despite this extensive need, only 10% of eligible blood donors in the U.S. actually donate.

“Throughout the course of history, we have consistently seen the countless lives saved through blood donation,” said Tapia. “As someone who personally knows people affected by blood donation, seeing people out there giving the gift of life always has a warm place in my heart. Given this, I am grateful to have been invited to Empire City Casino’s blood drive in their partnership with the New York Blood Center. I would like to once more commend Empire City Casino and the New York Blood Center for their commitment to saving lives.”

For more information on Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts, visit www.empirecitycasino.com.

More from Around NYC