Live! Casino Philadelphia celebrates two years of operation in the Stadium District this month.
The South Philadelphia casino opened in February 2021 and became the 16th Pennsylvania casino.
Live! Casino Philadelphia hosted a luncheon with staff and media members and announced a massive $750,000 donation to Rebuild Philadelphia.
Giving back to the community has always been at the top of Live! Casino Philadelphia’s priority list.
Live! Casino Philadelphia donates $750,000 to Rebuild Philadelphia
Jon Cordish, Principle of The Cordish Companies, announced to a room of roughly 100 guests that Live! Casino Philadelphia is donating $750,000 to Rebuild Philadelphia.
Rebuild Philadelphia is an organization that invests funds and resources into rebuilding neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries in Philadelphia for the youth.
The Cordish family has a reputation for giving back, as David Cordish, Chairman of The Cordish Companies, is known for handing out $100 bills to visitors across his casinos. Though this donation is much, much larger, it shows the same values the Cordish’s have.
“It speaks to our core family and corporate values which are one in the same,” Jon Cordish told PlayPennyslvania. “It’s one of the things that’s central to being a family-owned business. We’ve been in this for multi-generational time periods and to build projects that are going to last, you have to make them win-win for the communities around you. You’ve got to give back and do things the right way. To us, it was a no-brainer to celebrate this milestone.”
With the Rebuild Philadelphia donation, Live! Casino Philadelphia has donated more than $2.3 million in cash and in-kind support to various charities since opening.
How Rebuild Philadelphia and Live! Casino Philadelphia connected
The kids of Murphy Recreation Center are directly benefiting from the $750,000 donation.
The South Philadelphia rec center is getting a brand new turf field for softball, baseball, football and soccer. The basketball court will also undergo improvements and get a state-of-the-art LED lighting system.
Kira Strong, Executive Director of Rebuild Philadelphia, told PlayPennsylvania that the organization had a budget gap for this project, and Live! Casino Philadelphia stepped in to help. The total cost of the project is $4.5 million.
“We were really fortunate to be connected to Live! through a number of the civic groups in the South Philadelphia area,” Strong said. “We had a gap in our project as folks might know because of the pandemic and inflation, with construction costs rising, we needed to find dollars to be able to do the lighting, the sidewalks and basketball court that we planned. That’s where Live! came in through the neighborhood councils and stakeholders. They thought they could be helpful and better serve the South Philly neighborhood.”
Rebuild Philadelphia’s history and plans moving forward
Remember when Mayor Jim Kenny issued the Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax? The bill passed on June 16, 2016 when 13 of 17 members of Philadelphia’s City Council voted in favor of the bill. The purpose of the bill was to invest the money into the community.
The bill was also considered extremely controversial. It was ultimately upheld by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2018. Once Rebuild Philadelphia started to receive funds from the tax, it was able to start on several projects.
Whether you are for or against the Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax, the proceeds from the tax certainly went to a great cause.
“We hope Philadelphians feel pride in where these dollars are going,” Strong said. “They’re going to public assets that benefit youth and families across Philadelphia. This is where those dollars have gone to really help kids in public spaces, especially after the pandemic. We need to interact with other people, we need to get outside and have resources in our communities.”
As soon as the organization received funds in late 2018, it hit the ground running and now has around 30 projects active all over the city. Rebuild Philadelphia will have invested in close to $500 million in rebuilding Philadelphia libraries, fields, parks and rec centers.
According to Kathyrn Ott Lovell, Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Rebuild Philadelphia is the largest civic investor of infrastructure in the city’s history.