Press Release

Play Ball Gala Returns October 21

Published October 11, 2022

News release

For more information contact: Shane Rhinewald, The Strong, srhinewald@museumofplay.org;

ROCHESTER, NY—Rochester’s most playful fundraising gala returns! Join Honorary Chair and longtime museum Trustee Aaron Newman for an evening of fun and festivities highlighting the power of play in Rochester and beyond at The Strong’s Play Ball on Friday, October 21, from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Be a piece of the puzzle as the museum looks to the future; funds raised from Play Ball support the museum’s outreach programs and play-based educational mission.

“As someone who is always seeking out adventure, I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the next exciting phase of The Strong’s history: a major museum expansion and the new Neighborhood of Play slated to open in the summer of 2023,” says Play Ball Chair Aaron Newman. “The generosity of the community at Play Ball will not only support this transformative project, but also help sustain the museum’s crucial programs and initiatives that make The Strong such an important resource in our community.”

This year, The Strong will welcome comedy stuntman Matt Baker to the Main Event. Baker has appeared on America’s Got Talent, Last Comic Standing, Fox Sports, CCTC, ESPN, and the Las Vegas Comedy Festival. Rochester favorites Joe Lomonaco and Nikki Rudd will emcee the evening and host a live auction that includes a Walt Disney World trip for four, weekend getaway at the Del Monte Lodge complete with spa services, a family package to LEGOLAND New York Resort, a chef’s table at Good Luck, and more. The silent auction opens to the public on October 14 and runs through the event—featuring playful packages including one-of-a-kind autographed sports memorabilia, PGA tickets, toys and games, and more. Throughout the evening, guests can savor irresistible cuisine courtesy of Wegmans and sip creative cocktails from Good Luck’s team of mixologists. Guests will also enjoy music from DJ Naps of BreakThrough Entertainment.

Leading Play Ball sponsors include Aaron Newman, Mary C. Valentine, Wegmans Food Markets, Broadstone Net Lease Inc., ESL Federal Credit Union, LeChase Construction Services LLC, Good Luck, and Konar Properties.

Tickets: Onsite tickets are $200 per person or $1,700 for a table of eight. For tickets, sponsorships, or to learn more, go to theplayball.org or email Kylee Fassler at kfassler@museumofplay.org.

Please note: The museum will be closed to the public on Friday, October 21, to prepare for the event.

About The Strong

The Strong is the only collections-based museum in the world devoted solely to the history and exploration of play. It is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play and houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play.