bgcsm x redwings esports ribbon cutting

Detroit Red Wings Foundation and The Children’s Foundation Score Another Goal With New Esports Lounge Unveiled At Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan’s Eastpointe Club

BGCSM’s Eastpointe Club is home to the fourth and final esports lounge which is part of the commitment to investing $300,000 for Esports Lounges and programming at four metro Detroit Boys & Girls Clubs locations. 

DETROIT – February 28, 2024 – The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) unveiled the latest Esports & Gaming Lounge at the Eastpointe Club 15320 E. 9 Mile Eastpointe. Today, dozens of youths were surprised by Jake Walman, Michael Rasmussen and Christian Fischer from the Red Wings during the ribbon cutting ceremony, and had the opportunity to play video games, enjoy a pizza party and learn hockey skills from the pros! More than 1,000 children were impacted by the Esports + Hockey program in 2023. The Eastpointe Esports Lounge is the fourth esports lounge opened at BGCSM locations. 

As part of a $300,000 investment to strengthen the career and entrepreneur pipeline for youth in the sports and Esports industries. Kids played NHL ‘22 and all the latest video games with Detroit Red Wings players in the lounge, which is designed after the Red Wings dressing room at Little Caesars Arena. Club members had the opportunity to participate in floor hockey drills with players alongside Learn, Play, Score program ambassador and 2023 Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award winner Jason McCrimmon. 

“This is amazing to see our fourth Club unveil a world-class esports lounge! Thank you to the commitment from the Detroit Red Wings Foundation and the Children’s Foundation for helping us to invest in the development of youth through sports and technology which will have a long-term benefit, potentially contributing to a more vibrant and skilled workforce,” said Shawn H. Wilson, president and CEO of BGCSM. “This partnership will absolutely bring about positive changes, creating new opportunities and pathways for the youth not only in sports and technology, but with any career path they decide to take.” 

Established during the 2019-20 season as part of a $1 million commitment from the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Red Wings Foundation, and NHL/NHLPA Industry Growth Fund, the Learn, Play, Score platform is breaking down systemic barriers by introducing equitable access to hockey in various forms for thousands of children across the city of Detroit. In partnership with respected local organizations and revered Detroiters, children of all ages and abilities are now experiencing the social, emotional, and educational benefits of hockey – many of them for the first time. 

The Learn, Play, Score Esports + Hockey program will deliver necessary tools and experiences for hundreds of BGCSM youth members to discover the exciting cross-section of Esports, gaming and professional sports as they realize ways to unlock their own potential. Interacting with the latest technology, experiencing hands-on workforce opportunities, and learning the powerful principles in hockey, Esports + Hockey aims to serve as a catalyst for kids in metro Detroit to achieve their dreams. 

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Michigan Industry Club Initiative aligns with the organization’s efforts to address poverty through economic mobility, and to continually have a positive community impact and advancement for youth and their families. 

To learn more or become a member of BGCSM please visit 


About Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan 

Founded in 1926, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) serves 21,000 youth, families, and entrepreneurs annually in neighborhoods throughout Southeastern Michigan. BGCSM has reimagined the future of after-school programming by focusing on the root cause of issues facing our community, which is poverty. BGCSM’s mission is to ensure youth leave our Clubs career, start up and homeowner ready. 

About the Detroit Red Wings Foundation 

The Detroit Red Wings Foundation invests in the future of our community by providing funds and resources to organizations that contribute to the growth of the sport of hockey. The Foundation’s signature initiative – Learn, Play, Score – introduces year-round access to hockey in various forms for thousands of children across the city of Detroit each year. Additionally, the Foundation provides significant annual support for thousands of young hockey players across Michigan through its partnership with Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League. The Detroit Red Wings Foundation is an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information, please visit 

About The Children’s Foundation 

The Children’s Foundation is a premier foundation focused on the health and well-being of the children of Michigan and their families by working in collaboration with other organizations in the community. By listening to community needs, The Foundation responds by mobilizing and enhancing resources through innovative partnerships and funding models. Since 2011, the Foundation has distributed more than 70 million dollars in grant funding to more than 140 partners throughout the state. Current initiatives of The Children’s Foundation include Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, The Jamie Daniels Foundation, First Tee- Greater Detroit and the Paul W. Smith Charities. Current areas of focus for the Foundation include mental health, nutritional wellness, abuse and neglect, pediatric research, youth development and injury prevention. Learn more at 

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