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Washtenaw Community College hosting virtual esports fundraiser for Mott Children’s Hospital

Will Clayton, 6, plays video games with Andrew Gabanyicz, Washtenaw Community College student and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital patient technology specialist, during his cancer treatment.
Will Clayton, 6, plays video games with Andrew Gabanyicz, Washtenaw Community College student and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital patient technology specialist, during his cancer treatment. (C.S. Mott Children's Hospital)

ANN ARBOR – Washtenaw Community College esports students will host a week-long virtual fundraiser Oct. 3-9 to raise funds to purchase gaming consoles for hospitalized children at University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

The #StreamForMott event is free to join and will feature gamers from around their country dedicating their time and encouraging their followers to make donations.

The Wolfpack Esports Week and seven day Rocket League tournament will be presented in partnership with MissionControl.gg. Participants will be able to communicate on the #StreamForMott channel via the Discord app.

To see the full schedule of gaming streams, visit the event’s website.

Net proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward purchasing brand-new Starlight Nintendo Switch Gaming Stations for patients and their families to enjoy while hospitalized at Mott. Each console is priced at $5,000.

Molly Clayton’s six-year-old son, Will, undergoes weekly chemotherapy treatments at Mott for brain cancer. She called the therapeutic gaming program a “miracle” as he received treatments through a port in his chest.

“We were asking this little guy to do this terrifying thing,” Clayton said in a release. “It was extremely traumatic for him and for me. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would be thankful for video games. But when kids are going through the worst possible thing you can imagine you do whatever it takes to help them get through that.”

Current Washtenaw Community College student and patient technology specialist at Mott, Andrew Gabanyicz, has been working with Will during treatments.

“The first week when Andrew came in with the cart they sat and played together and our entire life changed,” Clayton said in a release. “It was like a dream to have not one day of crying and begging. During our second week Will ran down the hall and jumped on the gurney and I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’”

WCC alum and patient technology project manager at Mott, Connor Rivera, said he’s been amazed by the program.

“It’s us with 350 kids in the hospital,” Rivera said in a statement. “We provide therapeutic and recreational gaming interventions for socialization and provide fun. We’ll be in there and the next thing you know kids are playing Mario Kart with their doctor or phlebotomist. I am absolutely amazed by it all.”

“I am so proud of our students and WCC team for their big ideas and even bigger hearts,” WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca said in a statement. “They’ve been working hard to make our first-ever Esport fundraiser a success to help lift the spirits of children and families at Mott Hospital.”

Organizers of the fundraiser hope to purchase as many carts as possible for children to enjoy at the hospital.

Gamers of all ages are invited to compete in the weeklong Rocket League Tournament, create a fundraising account or register to stream their favorite video game.

Players of all ability levels can register on the #StreamForMott website, where sponsorships and one-time donations are also accepted.

Throughout the week, prizes will be announced and awarded to participants.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.