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The big holiday celebration occurred at Moorland Family YMCA at Oak Cliff, and Mavs Gaming decked out the room in new coats and stuffed bags full of special holiday surprises.
The families were shocked and thrilled to see Fairley and Zae standing nearby with gifts uniquely designed for each teen.
“Christmas has always been a magical time for me, and it’s probably my favorite holiday,” Coach Fairley said. “I love seeing people smile and being happy. That’s what we’re doing today. We went out and got top-of-the-line gifts and presents for these families. We’re providing the kids with Mavs Gaming gear, video games, Playstation 5s, and all types of things. It’s really fun to see them smile.”
Tray Thompson oversees community outreach with Mavs Gaming, and he said the holiday surprise was a labor of love. All the gifts were customized and created to give the families the best experience possible.
“The inspiration really came from our Mavs Gaming and community leadership team,” Thompson explained. “We put our heads together and wanted to make a big impact in the best way possible. This is the Mavs Season of Giving, so we wanted to give 100 percent to these families.”
Thompson said that each family received winter essentials, including coats, beanies, gloves, and socks.
“We also put an esports twist to it, so each family got a custom Playstation 5, an esports gaming monitor, controllers and more. On top of all that, our partners at Belong Gaming were nice enough to provide two Playstation gift cards that have $100 on them.”
The gift cards will allow the teens to shop online at the Playstation stores and purchase new games for their gaming systems.
“We really went all out this year,” Thompson said.
Belong Gaming Arenas opened in October 2021 inside Grapevine Mills, becoming the company’s first gaming center in North Texas. Visitors can play for fun or train like Mavs Gaming esports professionals. The center features top-of-the-line gaming PCs, equipment, and next-generation consoles. Belong Gaming Arenas also helped Mavs Gaming give back to the community through this project.
Moorland YMCA selected these particular families because the teens are passionate about esports and integral in helping the YMCA grow their esports programs.
The teens help run their discord channels and their esports tournaments. One of the young people didn’t even have transportation to attend the events, so he’d bus to and from YMCA locations to help run the programs.
“These kids were selected because they really continue to help push the programs forward, despite any of the obstacles at their hand,” Thompson shared. “So it makes the situation much better and more gratifying internally knowing that these items are going to families that really can use this stuff.”
Friday night’s celebration took place in the new Mavs Reading and Learning Center at Moorland YMCA, a room decked out in the latest technology gadgets designed with young leaders in mind. These young people are among those who use the new learning center.
The esports community continues to grow …….