The Dunn Police Athletics and Activities League is always looking for new ways to raise funds, bring kids and cops together and give the public an opportunity to see police officers in a favorable light.
On Saturday, Oct. 12, from 1 to 6 p.m. the organization will blend modern day technology with an old school idea and bring the kids, the cops and the public together for an afternoon of friendly competition.
The Dunn PAL will be the sponsor and GameStop in Erwin will be the location for the Dunn PAL vs. Dunn PD eSports Fundraiser.
The competition will pit kids of all ages against willing members of the Dunn Police Department in a day of gaming and friendly competition to not only raise money to support PAL, but also to present police in a manner which shows they’re just like everyone else.
“We at the PAL are extremely excited to be putting on this event and moving forward by thinking outside the box,” PAL Program Manager Jonathan Bridges said. “Our goal is to reach out to the community in different ways and show that we are here to make a positive impact in the lives of those around us.”
Bridges said the organization is trying to reestablish itself within the community and to help bring all involved just a little closer.
“We want to reacquaint ourselves with our community, and this event is our first step in that direction,” Bridges said. “We want the community to join us, help us, and grow with us. Most importantly, we want to play a big role in the positive changes coming to our community. We want to thank everyone for their patience with us, and encourage them to give their input. We are listening.”
Area youth will face off against members of the Dunn Police Department in a variety of competitive games, including NBA 2K20, FIFA 20, Madden 20, Mortal Kombat 11, Mario Kart, Just Dance and several others. The gamers and police will do battle on various eGaming platforms including Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Wii.
“We believe that it is important that our youth develop positive relationships with police officers in our area,” Bridges said. “We will accomplish this by providing a space where our officers are able to show that they are regular people who perform a heroic duty.”
Bridges spoke about how the video games, which have touched many lives, both youth and adult, create not only competition, but also a bonding between players. He said the PAL wants to encourage and help form relationships using the event as a starting point.
“Video games can be used as bonding tools,” Bridges said. “For many youth and adults alike, video games create a comfortable atmosphere where they can be themselves very easily. This event will allow our officers and youth to share that atmosphere in the form of a friendly competition.”
He said the organization also hopes that the relationships, which are formed, will prosper.
“All relationships are formed because of mutual interest,” he said. “This is to say that when our youth and officers can relate, it helps create healthy views and relationships for the future.”
Bridges also credits GameStop for becoming a willing partner with PAL and offering its own positive light on the situation through enabling PAL to host the event.
“GameStop is committed to showing the community that they care,” Bridges said. “Through an event like this, GameStop can show that their doors are open to the community and that they are heavily concerned with creating, building and maintaining positive relationships in our area.”
The format is relatively simple: multiple stations will be set up with different games and the winner in three different classes will be selected based on who wins the most games.
Winners will be named in the divisions of Youth, Police and Donors — the latter of which is open to anyone willing to grab a controller and see what they’re made of when it comes to the eGaming world.
Each child up to the age of 18, will receive five free plays. After using the free plays, it will be two games for $1. The game limit is 20. Players will try to win as many games as they can within the 20 plays.
Each police officer will play for free. There will be no limit on the amount of games the officers play.
Each donor will receive five plays for every $10 donated, with a limit of 20 games. Donations will not be limited. Additionally, for every 50 donations made to PAL, two bonus games will be awarded to the 50th donor.
In addition to the competition, food trucks will be on hand to feed the hungry gamers and spectators and the Dunn PAL will have a booth setup to provide information on programs and on volunteer opportunities.
GameStop is located at 554 E. Jackson Blvd., Erwin, and the competition is open to youth ages 18 and younger and donors.