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Non-Profits React To Casino Rejection

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Folks at Horizons and Orchestra Iowa both agree that a casino in Cedar Rapids would have been beneficial to the work they do.

Turning the ground over and producing things for consumption, it's what civilization was founded on, and it's what these horizons employees are doing here: building a community garden.

"We believe, when we think of community and economic development, if people aren't healthy, if people aren't eating well, it doesn't really matter what else happens in their community, said Karl Cassell, CEO and President of Horizons.

Karl Cassell says the facts are clear.

Revenue from a casino would have been helpful to many non-profits in the area, but a No Vote doesn't mean local agencies will stop thriving.

"As you see us in this garden today, we know we have to put our hands to the plow and do the work. We can't depend on money coming from somewhere else. We have to do the work ourselves, said Cassell.

Leaders at Orchestra Iowa, another non-profit, say they too were excited about the possibility of a casino.

"The additional revenue opportunities and tourism that it would have brought to a community of our size would have been great for a performing arts organization such as Orchestra Iowa, said Alexis Kenleigh, Chief Marketing Officer of Orchestra Iowa.

Alexis Kenleigh says while they weren't surprised about the outcome. They were disappointed, but believe the future is still bright.

"We have a very resilient city. Cedar Rapids can bounce back from everything and have so for Orchestra Iowa we'll just continue to keep doing what we do best, Kenleigh said.

As will those at horizons.

"We figure, if there's still money in this community, if we continue to do good work, people will give to us, said Cassell.

Both organizations tell me they believe the community will come up with many other creative ways to grow.
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