Clinton center helps kids who are less fortunate thanks to a gaming mentor

Kyle Wacker owns a local Gamestop, but makes sure to spend time playing games with kids who look up to him.

CLINTON, Iowa – The Gateway Area Community Center opened it’s doors to kids who are less fortunate in Clinton back in March.

Once a month they hold a gaming event and since the center started the numbers of kids participating has tripled from about ten participants to now over 30.

Kyle Wacker makes a visit to the center once a month to add to the fun for the dozens of kids.  He manages the Gamestop store near Clinton.

“In my store we get a lot of card games in, so every month I bring a new card game for everybody to play,” Wacker says.

The gaming event is now the talk of the town, and Wacker has a lot to do with its success.

“Kyle has a really big heart and he knew exactly what it would take to get the kids in and get them interested,” explains Jorge Landa Rodriguez the Founder and Executive Director of the Gateway Area Community Center.

“I didn’t have a lot of this when I was kid,” comments Wacker. “It’s been a blast to kind of see everybody get along and make new friends and do stuff that they wouldn’t normally do if we didn’t’ have this going.”

The kids come to learn gaming strategies, but Kyle is a mentor for even more.

“They get to experience brand new friends, they get to play on games and systems they’ve never played before,” Wacker says. “It’s something to do on a Saturday night versus sitting at home.”

Now, the kids realize the best strategy in the game of life is being a part of a team that always supports each other.

The Gateway Area Community Center is open for kids after school on weekdays and is completely free for them to use.  The center offers music classes, boxing, and the gaming event that takes place on the fourth Saturday of every month.