Harrah's sets up wildfire relief fund

Harrah's Las Vegas

The Angora Lakes wildfire that tore through South Lake Tahoe certainly left its mark - on both the community at-large, and the lives of several members of Harrah's Entertainment, Inc.

It burned 3,100 acres, destroyed 254 homes and led to the evacuation of more than 300 Harrah's, Harveys and Bill's Lake Tahoe employees. Five employees and their families also lost their homes.

And although Harrah's hotel and casino properties were not affected by the fire, Harrah's is making a concerted effort to assist their employees and the community in its aftermath, announcing today the creation of an employee community relief fund.

"Our initial priority was the safety of our employees, guests and neighbors," says John Koster, Harrah's regional president for northern Nevada. "Now that the fire is out, our focus is on assisting our employees who were affected, and in continuing our support of the community as we begin our rebuilding efforts."

The fund, established through the Nevada Community Foundation, will be used to provide direct assistance to the working families of Harrah's Lake Tahoe, Harveys and Bill's Lake Tahoe whose homes and property received significant damage from the fire.

Assistance will also be provided to other families in the community and to charitable organizations helping in the relief and rebuilding efforts.

Already, Harrah's properties have donated more than 700 room nights to families displaced or evacuated from the fire, provided free lodging to fire fighters and the U.S. forest service during the crisis, distributed more than 2,000 meals and donated blankets, pillows and other needed amenities to relief workers, community members and service organizations.

Donations to the fund can be made to: HHFRF (Harrah's and Harvey Fire Relief Fund), c/o Nevada Community Foundation, 300 S. 4th St., Suite 1009, Las Vegas, NV 89101.

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