For years, neighborhood arcades have been places where kids can come together to be kids -- to have fun and play games in a safe, social, accepting environment. Now two local fathers are bringing that good feeling to Newtown.
Andrew Clure and Scott Cicciari are in the process of stocking the Sandy Hook Arcade Center at Sand Hill Plaza on South Main St. in preparation to launch this month. The two had a “passion for pinball machines” and connections in the arcade industry, they say. But the idea first came when they were looking for ways to contribute to the community after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December.
“This town is struggling and we really wanted to do something to help,” said Clure in an initial release from the the Sandy Hook Arcade Center. “For us this is not a business, it’s simply our commitment as parents and residents to promote one of the core values in Newtown…family.”
The arcade is a non-profit, offering a free space for Newtown kids. All profits will be donated to the town of Newtown, say owners, and everyone from local officials to national companies have lent time, goods and services. Scott says the two will “owe a huge thank you” when the arcade opens later in February, after finding a good deal of help in the community for the project.
“When we called people on the phone, most strangers, and we explained what we wanted to do, the response was amazing,” said Cicciari. “People just really want to help out. It gives you renewed faith in the goodness of people.”
They’ve already launched a web site and a Facebook page for the arcade, which will be open after school 3 days a week and on weekends. According to the release, games will include air hockey and XBox Kinect, among others.