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ESA Foundation Raises More Than $800,000 at 15th Annual "Nite To Unite - For Kids"

Funds Will Support Children’s Charities and College Scholarships

October 29, 2012 – WASHINGTON, DC – The Entertainment Software Association Foundation (ESAF) today announced that it raised $822,000 at its 15th annual “Nite to Unite – for Kids” black-tie gala. The funds will support ESAF’s grant-making activities and scholarship program, which enhance educational opportunities and make a difference in the lives of America’s youth. ESAF has raised more than $12 million since its founding in 2000.

“Nite to Unite’s success is due to the video game industry’s generosity, leadership and commitment to children,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, the trade association that represents U.S. computer and video game publishers. “Our industry once again came together to support programs and initiatives that equip America’s young adults with the skills they need for academic and workforce success.”

The “Nite to Unite – For Kids” was attended by industry leaders and luminaries on October 18 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. They celebrated Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director of Valve Corporation, who was the 2012 ESA Champion Honoree. A pioneer in the entertainment software industry who developed multiple award-winning games including Portal, Newell was recognized for using his technological creativity in interactive entertainment to help teachers utilize new learning software and to develop critical problem-solving skills in students. His work enhanced learning in the areas of physics, mathematics and language arts.

The “Nite to Unite – For Kids” co-chairs were Kazuhiko Abe, president and CEO of Capcom U.S.A., Inc.; John Pleasants, co-president of Disney Interactive; and Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. International Data Group (IDG) and IDG World Expo sponsored the casino night portion of the gala.

At the event, ESAF highlighted its new partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) to aid nonprofit children’s hospitals across North America. The organizations are collaborating on Extra Life, an annual 24-hour video game marathon that taps into the philanthropic spirit of the video game community by enabling players to raise money for a CMN Hospital of their choice. Since launching in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $2 million to provide life-saving medical treatment, equipment, research and care to millions of children. In addition, ESAF announced its 2013 beneficiaries:

  • Federation of American Scientists, which will distribute a game to enhance high school level science instruction and deepen students’ understanding of biology.
  • George Mason University Foundation, which will provide underserved middle and high school students with the chance to participate in after-school game design classes.
  • HopeLab Foundation, which will use technology and video games to improve the health of youth, especially those with cancer.
  • Lewis and Clark Foundation, which will support the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center, focusing on education and children’s programs.
  • National Conference of State Legislatures, which will develop and implement interactive games to teach students about lawmaking and democracy.
  • Parents’ Choice Foundation, which will develop a resource for parents, educators and healthcare professionals that will provide uniform testing, certification and identification of digital games for children of all abilities, including those with special needs.
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum, which opened “The Art of Video Games” exhibition this year highlighting the 40-year evolution of video games,will provide electronic resources to schools and the public.
  • ThanksUSA,a non-partisan charitable organization, which will provide scholarships and education resources to the children of those serving in the U.S. armed forces.
  • University of Texas at Austin, which will support an immersive science learning program for middle school students, developed by its College of Education.
  • World Wide Workshop Foundation, which will harness the potential of computer games to improve learning, leadership and livelihood skills of underserved children and youth.

The ESAF was created by the American entertainment software industry to provide opportunities that can make a difference in the lives of America’s youth. The Foundation is fully supported by proceeds from its limited edition charity game pack’s sales and "Nite to Unite - for Kids," its annual fundraiser. For more information about the ESAF, please visit


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