Last updated: January 7, 2021 at 9:40 am. Posted by in Uncategorized. No Comments on CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT ATLANTIC CITY CELEBRATES ITS HEROES ON NATIONAL HERO DAY.

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Caesars, Harrah’s Resort, and Tropicana Celebrate the HEROES Within Our Community and Recognize Their Efforts on National Hero Day


Atlantic City, NJ (December 29, 2020) – On National Hero Day 2020, Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City would like to honor and recognize the heroes within our community by celebrating their contributions and deeds over these past few months. Our team members volunteered over 10,000 hours of community service in 2019, which is equivalent to over 270 full-time jobs.


“When I was growing up, a hero to me was someone that is looked up to and admired….while I still believe that…..I have a lot more respect for the word HERO when I think of the people who put their lives on the line every day.” – Steve Callender, Regional President for Caesars Entertainment.


Doctors, nurses, medical workers, first responders, and ALL those working on the front lines of COVID-19 are the real MVPs of 2020.  When we think of heroes in our own community, that’s who comes to mind. Nurses like Jane Diep at Shore Medical Center, who was just honored as the hospital’s Guardian Angel Nurse for the month of December, and doctors like Christopher Lucasti, a renowned epidemiologist and infectious disease expert who has played a pivotal role in the COVID-19 pandemic recognized as one of our community’s outstanding Physicians of the Year. As a small token of our appreciation, we were grateful to help surprise these outstanding healthcare workers with a special VIP weekend stay at our Caesars Entertainment resorts in Atlantic City. We cannot wait to rollout the red carpet for them! Thank you to our medical HEroes and SHEroes.

Nurse Jane Diep of Shore Medical Center

(Learn more about Doctor Christopher Lucasti here.)


Additionally, we surprised more of our community’s first responders a few weeks ago – Atlantic City Police, Fire Department, and COVID unit at AtlantiCare mainland campus with a special lunch and dinner delivery as a small token of our appreciation by our star chefs at Tropicana, Harrah’s Resort, and Caesars.


(Watch our National First Responders Day video here.)


But, at Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City, we call our employee-based volunteers Caesars HEROES, and they truly live up to this title each and every year. 2020 was no different—We saw our company and our team members step-up in extraordinary ways to support our community in lending a helping hand.


Today, on National HERO Day, we recognize a few of our own Caesars HEROES and the ways in which they helped our community this year:


At the start of the pandemic, Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City Resorts launched a large-scale relief effort to support the community and donated over 95% of its perishable food to local organizations. Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City and the company’s employee-based volunteers delivered over 40,000 pounds of food, including fresh dairy, produce, canned goods and lunch meat to those in need at The Community Food Bank of Southern NJ, The Salvation Army and The Atlantic City Rescue Mission Food. Food that was not suitable for human consumption—meaning it was past its expiration date but still suitable for certain animals—was donated to The Funny Farm Animal Rescue in Mays Landing, NJ, by chefs from Martorano’s at Harrah’s Resort.

Food Donation by Chefs at Martorano’s at Harrah’s Resort to The Funny Farm Animal Rescue on March 24

(Learn more about Caesars’ efforts to support many organizations throughout our community here.)


Amid the casino closure, three chefs from Gordon Ramsay Steak at Harrah’s Resort committed their free time to helping the less fortunate. Head chef Larry Smith and his two sous chefs, Paul Hanley and Kelly Wright made a trip to Philadelphia every week to assist The World Central Kitchen Relief Effort and their mission to fight hunger and poverty. Through their volunteer efforts, they created restaurant caliber meals with locally sourced ingredients. The donation of their time helped in serving about 200 to 250 people each day.

Head chef Larry Smith and his two sous chefs, Paul Hanley and Kelly Wright 

(Learn more about Chef Larry and his team’s efforts here.)

(Additional news coverage following Chef Larry and his team.)


To continue the efforts to relieve hunger in Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort partnered with The Boys & Girls Club to deliver sandwiches for lunches to support their new after school program and teen center through the end of the year. 


Further extending their commitment to the community, Harrah’s Resort donated more than 180 sandwiches to the Covenant House, which provides housing and supportive services to youth facing homelessness in Atlantic City, and 150 sandwiches to Turning Point, an organization dedicated to combating homelessness in the city. By the year’s end, we will have delivered 20,000 sandwiches to over 12 organizations to help fight food insecurity. Executive Sous Chef Michael Balles and Harrah’s Resort’s culinary team helped coordinate this effort with our community partners.

Chef Michael Balles, Harrah’s Resort’s Exec Sous Chef, Chef Chris on his team, and Chef Pam of Boys & Girls Club

(Learn more about our efforts with the Boys & Girls Club here.)


This year, our First Responders have made tremendous personal and professional sacrifices to keep our Atlantic City community safe. Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City and Caesars HEROES thanked the community’s everyday heroes on National First Responders Day (Wednesday, Oct. 28) by offering a small token of appreciation through a special lunch delivery to the Atlantic City Police Department, Atlantic City Fire Department, and the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center-City Campus from the culinary teams at Caesars, Tropicana, and Harrah’s Resort. This donation would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our Caesars Heroes, such as Chef Ruben Espinal of CaesarsChef Demetrios Haronis, Chef Balles, and their culinary teams.

Food delivery to AtlantiCare on National First Responders Day on Oct. 28

Chef Ruben Espinal of Caesars

(Learn more about our First Responders Day efforts here.)


Through the focus of helping fight food insecurity in the area, Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City also made a donation of $5,527 to The Community Food Bank of NJ (Egg Harbor Township). This donation was made possible through a portion of Harrah’s Bayside Rock Live outdoor concert series ticket sales, as well as a company match. Every $1 donated was able to provide up to 12lbs of food, which equates to approximately 10 meals at The Community Food Bank of NJ.

Check presentation at Bayside Rock Live on Oct. 23

Steve Callender, Regional President for Caesars Entertainment, Ron Baumann, Senior VP and General Manager for Harrah’s Resort & Caesars, and Denise Hladun, Exec Director of The Community Food Bank

(Learn more about our Bayside Rock Live Concert Series donation to The Community Food Bank of NJ here.)


Along with countless volunteer efforts, some Caesars employees took to fundraising. Social Media Specialist, Samantha Halseth, took her design skills to a productive level by raising awareness and funds to help relief efforts. Inspired by courageous leadership and daring efforts to stay home, she created a unique pair of COVID-19 inspired sneakers for auction. Her efforts were recognized by Governor Murphy and through the bidding, over $1,000 was raised and 100% of the profit was donated to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization. Because of the overwhelming support and inquiries received for the #StayHome Air Force 1s, a donation page was also created to support two donation-based campaigns, Chefs Feed the Frontlines in Minneapolis, MN and the Casino Family Giving Tree in South Jersey. A total of $866 was raised and split in half to equally benefit both campaigns working for the greater good..

Hand Painted Nike Air Force 1s by Caesars Social Media Specialist, Samantha Halseth

(Learn more about Samantha’s efforts to raise awareness here.)

(Additional news coverage about Samantha’s efforts.)


In November, Tropicana recognized Steve Arlington, who sprang into action and performed life-saving treatment to a guest in distress.

“My instincts kicked in,” said Steve, a server at the Laurel Lounge and former athletic coach who is trained in CPR. “I saw someone in need and just ran over. It was my honor to help someone out.”

“Steve exemplified true heroism that day,” said Chris Rippy, Vice President of Food & Beverage, Tropicana. “We are so proud of him and thankful for his quick-thinking response and commitment to serve our guests.”

Donna Crandall, Steve-Arlington, and Chris Rippy 


Tropicana leadership and team members recently donated and volunteered to pack over 4,000 lbs of turkey and ham at The Community Food Bank. This donation will help to feed well over 2,000 people in our community. Recipients of this donation include, True Spirit CoalitionThe Community Food BankOperation HelpTexas Avenue SchoolThe Salvation Army, and Atlantic City Rescue Mission.

Tropicana Executives and Team Members volunteering at The Community FoodBank Southern Branch on Dec. 10


To end the year, Caesars Entertainment HEROS took to spreading holiday cheer within the Atlantic City community. For the past thirteen-years, casino host Jen Elberson has been organizing the annual donation of gifts by Caesars Entertainment Inc. employees to the local Toys for Tots campaign every holiday season. This year, Harrah’s Resort and Caesars partnered with the U.S. Marine Corps and its Toys for Tots campaign, donating more than 500 toys and an additional $5,000. This generous donation would not have been possible without the support and generous efforts of Jen Elberson and Steve Hann. 

Check Presentation to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots on Dec. 11

Ron Baumann, Senior VP and General Manager for Harrah’s Resort & Caesars, Jen Elberson and Steve Hann with members of the U.S. Marine Corps

(Learn more about Harrah’s Resort & Caesars Toys for Tots donation here.)

(Additional news coverage about Caesars Toys for Tots donations.)


As we celebrate National Hero Day, we would like to thank all of our Atlantic City and Caesars Entertainment Heroes for their selflessness and commitment to their community this year. As we prepare to ring in 2020, we will continue to admire and acknowledge their courage, heroic actions and positive contributions they have made this year. Their volunteer efforts inspire us to continue to spread good going into the New Year.


About Caesars Entertainment, Inc. 

Caesars Entertainment, Inc. is the largest casino-entertainment company in the U.S. and one of the world’s most diversified casino-entertainment providers. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, in 1937, Caesars Entertainment has grown through development of new resorts, expansions, and acquisitions. Caesars Entertainment’s resorts operate primarily under the Caesars®, Harrah’s®, Horseshoe®, and Eldorado® brand names. Caesars Entertainment offers diversified amenities and one-of-a-kind destinations, with a focus on building loyalty and value with its guests through a unique combination of impeccable service, operational excellence, and technology leadership. Caesars Entertainment is committed to its employees, suppliers, communities, and the environment through its PEOPLE PLANET PLAY framework. For more information, please visit




Media Contact: 

Noel Stevenson

Regional Director of Public Relations

Caesars Entertainment, Atlantic City Region




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Social Media Strategist for Caesars Entertainment Inc. Atlantic City Region

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