Esports fundraising helps United Way of Central Oklahoma

Gaming and fundraising combined to benefit the United Way and draw awareness of the new CO-OP Esports and Gaming Arena at the University of Central Oklahoma this month.

Those who donated received free gameplay from 5 p.m. to midnight. The CO-OP has one Monday night fundraiser left in October. Gamers can donate through text messages and show the receipt to get their free gameplay.

“This was a great event to continue introducing the new CO-OP to the campus and the community, and we look forward to offering it again in future fundraising campaigns. With the impact of COVID-19 on every aspect of the campus operations, we only expect this event to grow,” said Chelsea Ratterman who’s the marketing coordinator for enterprise at UCO.

The CO-OP doesn’t have final numbers yet for the “Game to Give” event series since there is one last event. However, Ratterman says no matter the amount, they are pleased with any contribution to a fantastic cause.

CO-OP Director Victor Silva said: “We opened the CO-OP this August, and this is our first time partnering with the United Way. We are excited about what it represents and the impact it can have on the community. We hope our visibility helps other businesses join the cause since this is certainly something we will want to repeat and help grow.” 

Ratterman reiterated the community aspect of fundraising and trying to bring a spotlight to the new CO-OP arena. 

“As a new establishment in the city’s landscape, it provides us an invaluable way to introduce our services to everyone. Fundraisers for organizations like the United Way are critical under normal circumstances, and this year even more so, and so we are proud of any part we can play in those efforts,” Ratterman said.

The CO-OP and United way partnership is part of a university-wide United Way campaign. 

“A member of the campus committee approached the CO-OP about potential event opportunities in the space, and that is how the idea for the discounted gameplay came to be,” Ratterman said.

Along with the Game to Give events, the Esports@UCO team held a Make-a-Wish charity stream Saturday. The team said on their Twitter page that they were able to raise $620 for Make-a-Wish, which broke their first two donation goals of the stream.

The CO-OP is holding one final Game to Give event Monday to round out the event series.

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