TWP SEWICKLEY NORTH. – Recently, the Rotary Club of Ellwood City honored Grady Smith and Hayden Slade, the creators of Games To Give, at a dinner at the Connonquenessing Country Club.
As part of the celebration of 100 years of service to the Ellwood City area, the Rotary Club honors the men and women of the area who have demonstrated the qualities that underline Rotary’s motto, “Service Before Self.”
Rotary club president Doug Slade presented the award and a monetary donation to Games to Give.
In presenting the award to the couple, Slade said it was an important moment for him, not only because it is about his son and his friend, but because Rotary honors and encourages young people.
Rotary believes in developing the next generation of leaders. Their programs help young leaders develop leadership skills, broaden their education, and learn the value of service.
Smith and Slade are longtime friends who love to play board games. When they were in eighth grade, they co-founded Games to Give because they wanted to do something to make a difference in the world.
Since 2018, thanks to the generosity of individuals and small gaming businesses, their nonprofit organization has donated nearly 1,600 games.
“We asked for games from companies that make games. We get donations from small game companies, but nothing from big companies,” Smith said.
In 2021, they received their 501(c)3 determination from the IRS, which will allow them to apply for a grant to reach more people with the gift of games.
“Games bring families together and allow them to have positive social interaction, and they can be educational, especially for young children learning to count, spell and take turns,” Slade said. “We want to share the love of board games with everyone.”
Games to Give is their way of giving back to the community. They delivered board games to local children in need, cancer patients, Woman’s Shelter and other organizations.
Donations have also been made to the Yellow Ribbon Girls for deployed troops, as the games provide a break from the stress of being away from home and in danger.
Slade and Smith, juniors at Lincoln High School, are dedicated to changing the world, one board game at a time.
The two young men succeeded the rank of Eagle Scout.
The Rotary Club of Ellwood City supports young people by providing scholarships, supporting youth programs including the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), the leadership development program for young people who want to learn new skills, build their confidence and have fun. Each year, Rotary sponsors a student from Lincoln and Riverside High Schools to attend the RYLA event.
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