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L'Auberge Lake Charles raising money for Hurricane Laura relief after 33 staff members lose homes in storm

The company set up a fund to help employees to recover from Laura after it ravaged the Louisiana coastline

LAKE CHARLES, La. — It's been nearly three weeks since Hurricane Laura ravaged the Louisiana coastline, leaving hundreds of thousands without power or safe conditions to return to. 

Over the last few weeks, 12News has shared stories of neighbors helping, including Southeast Texans crossing the state line to lend a hand. 

The L'Auberge Lake Charles Casino Hotel is also stepping up while trying to recover themselves. 

Eric Schippers is with Penn National Gaming in Lake Charles. He says the area will likely be in recovery mode for a while. 

"They're all devastating but this one was just off the charts," Schippers said. 

Like thousands of others, those at the casino are stepping up to help. 

"33 team members completely lost their homes and lost all of their possessions in their homes," Schippers said. 

That's why the company set up a fund and started it off with $500,000 for their team members to apply for financial assistance. 

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"Taking care of our community has always been our first and principal goal there," Schippers said.  

They also partnered with Barstool Sports and are fundraising by selling custom-made Lake Charles Strong t-shirts. 

Hurricane Laura, the most devastating hurricane to strike Louisiana, made landfall and crossed over Lake Charles as a...

Posted by L'Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles on Friday, September 11, 2020

"And 100 percent of the net proceeds of the sale will go to support our team members as well as help fund local relief organizations," Schippers said. 

The resort itself is starting to reopen with a phased approach as recovery efforts continue. This comes after months of being closed due to the pandemic. 

"In terms of covid and the hurricane, we don't want to rush into business but we do want to provide a means for our team members to be able to get back to work," Schippers said. 

In the meantime, the casino is open with limited hours. Entergy crews and first responders are staying at the hotel.