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Cactus Petes employees donate to Boise spine injury program

Saint Alphonsus Rehabilitation Services received more than $61,000 to help with treatment for spinal cord injuries from resort casino Cactus Petes in Jackpot, Nev.


The money was raised by employees of Cactus Petes, with 50 percent matching funds from the private foundation of Ameristar’s late chairman and CEO, Craig Neilsen.


A car accident left Neilsen a quadriplegic for the 21 years leading up to his death in 2006. The foundation he established pays about $5 million annually in scientific research grants for brain and spinal injury, and about $1.5 million annually in quality-of-life programmatic grants in the United States and Canada.


The money donated to Saint Alphonsus will be used for equipment that teaches patients skills for functioning independently in their homes, Saint Alphonsus spokeswoman Jennifer Krajnik said.


The inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation program is a service of the Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, which is part of the four-hospital Saint Alphonsus Health System.


The casino parent company Las Vegas-based Ameristar Casinos runs gambling properties in several areas of the United States. Ameristar has donated almost $500,000 to the Saint Alphonsus rehabilitation program over the last six years, Krajnik said.

About Anne Wallace Allen

Anne Wallace Allen is the editor of the Idaho Business Review.