Tioga Downs keeps giving back

By Megan Carpenter

December 20, 2013 Updated Dec 21, 2013 at 12:50 AM EDT

Nichols, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Tioga Downs Racino gave back to local charities for the seventh year in a row.

On Friday, the racino's owner, Jeff Gural, presented four charities with checks totaling more than $185,000. That's more than in year's past.

The charities that received money this year include: Southern Tier Veterans Support Group, Goodwill Theatre, Food Bank of the Southern Tier and Tioga County Senior Citizens Foundation.

"There's definitely a component that will go towards providing our network of about 165 agencies with turkeys to serve individuals over the holidays," said Natasha Thompson, CEO of the Food Bank.

Veterans Support Group and the Food Bank each got $80,000. The Goodwill Theatre recieved $15,000 and Senior Citizens Foundation got $10,000.

"The $80,000 we got today, we've already spent 70,000 of it this year helping veterans and their families," said Ben Margolius of the Veterans Support Group.

Gural and his wife said they have been giving back to local charities since 2006. So far, they have given $900,000 total. Part of the money comes from special events held at the racino throughout the year. Some comes out of Gural's own pocket.

"It's the right thing to do," Gural said. "I've been very fortunate and those of us who have been fortunate have an obligation to give back."

Gural received his own recognition on Friday. The American Red Cross presented him with four plaques to thank him for his generosity.

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