ECC’s Black Student Achievers receive donation from Grand Victoria Casino fundraiser

Elgin Community College’s Black Student Achievers club received a generous donation of nearly $4,800 from the Grand Victoria Casino on April 5, further bolstering their efforts to support Black History Month initiatives. The donation, facilitated through the ECC Foundation, underscores the commitment of both organizations to empower and uplift the college’s diverse student body.

In November 2023, the Grand Victoria Casino approached the ECC Foundation with a desire to contribute to the college’s Black History Month programming. Recognizing the leadership and impact of the Black Student Achievers, the casino designated the club to spearhead the planning and execution of these initiatives.

“We were all excited to be identified and supported by a community organization,” said Erik Enders, student life coordinator for student equity and faculty adviser for Black Student Achievers. “I knew the range of money they’ve raised and donated in the past, so when I found out so much more was collected, it was unbelievable. I thought the majority would support this year’s African Ball, but now we have money to continue supporting BSA.”

The Grand Victoria Casino’s fundraising efforts were inclusive and impactful, with donation bins placed within the casino throughout February to allow patrons to contribute.

In addition to guests’ contributions, this donation was also made possible with contributions from participating casino team members via payroll deduction. Team members were incentivized to give with polo and jean days.

“This shows how much the Elgin community, including Grand Victoria Casino, really supports Black History Month and the students of ECC,” said Tyra Benson, ECC student and Black Student Achievers club member.

For Grand Victoria Casino, supporting the local community remains a top priority. “It’s an honor to be operating in this community,” said Rolando Guerrero, vice president and general manager at Grand Victoria Casino. “We want to be seen as not just takers but also givers; this is just another way we can do that. We try to vary the organizations we work with and are pleased with how we can help.”

The Grand Victoria Casino has maintained a long-standing partnership with ECC, including providing internships for ECC students at their casino. The donation from the Grand Victoria Casino represents a significant milestone in ECC’s ongoing efforts to foster inclusivity and support student-led initiatives, particularly those aimed at celebrating and honoring Black history and culture.

This generous gift from Grand Victoria Casino will support the Bright Futures campaign, which supports student-focused causes, including the Black Student Achievers. Visit to learn more.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.