Formed in the winter of 2011 by two local Hamptons teenagers, Max and Ben Snow, because they wanted to help children who were receiving medical care in hospitals, Game Knights Hamptons is a not-for-profit organization that collects new and used video game devices, DVD players, DVD movies, and iPads and encourages financial donations to purchase new electronic devices, movies, and games. In less than a year, two substanial donations have been made with a third one planned for Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital.
Tracy Anderson, the famed celebrity fitness entrepreneur and Sag Harbor denizen is actively involved in the charity along with her 13-year-old son, Sam. “My son’s best friend Ben Snow is one of the founders of Game Knights Hampton and since Sam is really into technology, this charity is something he and his classmates can easily relate to,” she adds that her son “really thinks about the games and systems to donate to try and find ones that would entertain the different ages and gaming levels. He has fun being the filter for the kids who can’t leave the hospital.” Anderson, known for sculpting the bodies of celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, goes on to note that because the charity is so accessible and relatable she has found it to be the perfect vehicle to get her son and other teenagers to explore their philanthropic abilities.
Anderson, who has fitness studios in Manhattan, Los Angeles and Water Mill, lives in Sag Harbor year-round. “It doesn’t feel natural to me to raise my kids in the city,” says Anderson. “I have to travel a lot and I don’t even want to think about how many times I have driven back and forth to the city! I love the pace here and the community.” In keeping with the idea of community Anderson explains that she has found tradition to be a powerful teaching tool for children—“my friend Gay Snow [Ben and Max Snow’s mother] worked hard to get the boys involved in this charity and she has done an amazing job creating a charity that these kids can grow with and get more involved with each year. I love watching my son grow and see the ways he feels that he can help others and get involved in the community.”
The diminutive blonde—who recently gave birth to her second child—goes on to explain that last year, in the initial stages of the charity’s development, it was about picking the right items and delivering the donation, but this year she and her son hope to do more as they get more involved. The popularity of the charity has inspired others as well. Kyle Lutnick, a friend of the Snows, started Game Knights in New York City.
“Friends have been very supportive of our charity, and parents have encouraged their children to participate in Game Knights because they believe our organization is a meaningful one as well as a wonderful way to educate our children about sharing and caring towards others,” explains Gay Snow. “We always strive to have our members involved in our donations so that we can foster an awareness that patients always need our donations and that our efforts are always appreciated.” She notes that their second donation was extremely meaningful, because the children were permitted to tour the hospital and saw firsthand how their donations positively affect those less fortunate.
Game Knights Hamptons strives to be a legacy of caring and sharing by kids, for kids. Please go to www.gameknights.org for additional information.