Nichols, NY (WENY) – Award recipients gathered in the ballroom of the Tioga Downs Casino to accept a portion of $250,000 for their organizations from the the Tioga Downs Regional community foundation.

The foundation aims to give back to communities that surround Tioga Downs. All 16 grant award recipients were narrowed down from a list of more than 50 applications received since the beginning of November.

Owner of the Casino, Jeff Gural grew up in the Binghamton area and says, “I believe that those of us have been fortunate, especially financially, have a moral obligation to give back to the community. So that's really where it came from, without the support of the community there would be no Tioga Downs,”

“We are very thankful to receive it because it's actually for our emerging care food program, which is very very important to people that we serve, our children, adults, cause it's needed,” said Anita Lewis, Recipient of one of the grants.

The Tioga Downs Regional Community Foundation is now accepting applications for 20-19. In 20-19, 1 million will be paid out in two phases: the first phase will be in July 20-19 and the second phase will be paid out in January 2020.