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The museum will be open July 4 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Press Release

The Strong’s Play Ball Returns 10/22

Published October 20, 2021

News release

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

ROCHESTER, NY—Rochester’s most playful fundraising gala is back in-person! Join Honorary Co-Chairs Kyle and Nicole Sayers for an evening of fun and festivities highlighting the power of play at The Strong’s Play Ball on Friday, October 22, from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Funds raised from Play Ball support the museum’s outreach and play-based educational mission. (Play Ball attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR-type COVID test no more than 72 hours in advance. Masking and social distancing will be strongly encouraged.)

Play Ball 2021 logo

“We hope that Play Ball provides an opportunity for attendees to take a break from the stresses of daily life and enjoy this amazing, fun-filled museum,” says Co-Chairs Kyle and Nicole Sayers. “Play provides the bright spots we all need in tough times—and there really is no better place to play than The Strong!”

This year, The Strong will welcome magician and mentalist Alain Nu—“The Man Who Knows”—to the Main Event. Nu has performed his mind-reading tricks and illusions across the world, including a residency in Las Vegas. Rochester favorites Joe Lomonaco and Nikki Rudd will emcee the evening and host a live auction that includes a weekend getaway at the Del Monte Lodge complete with spa services, a family package to LEGOLAND New York Resort, and more. The silent auction opens to the public on October 15 and runs through the event—featuring playful packages and one-of-a-kind autographed collectibles from trailblazers in the toy and video game industries. 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. Virtual tickets are also available, allowing remote to attendees from across the nation to view the Main Event.

Leading Play Ball sponsors include Mary C. Valentine, The Toy Association, Wegmans, Broadstone Net Lease Inc., E.G. Sackett, ESL Federal Credit Union, LeChase Construction Services LLC, Raw Fury, Konar Properties, and Good Luck.

Tickets: Onsite-tickets are $200 per person or $1,700 for a table of eight. Virtual tickets for the Main Event from 8:15 to 9:15 p.m. are available for $45. 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 22, 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.