Lubbock teenager donates over 200 arcade prizes to CASA of the South Plains

Updated: Dec. 10, 2019 at 8:16 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - For the past four months, a Lubbock-Cooper High School student was working on his own senior project: playing arcade games to give all of his prizes away to the kids at CASA of the South Plains.

“Since I was 10 I would go to arcades with my dad and we would learn which ones are the best for prizes, so we would get the biggest prizes. We got the PS4 for 100 dollars was it? Which is cheaper than it was on market,” said Gus Coolbaugh.

Gus Coolbaugh isn’t your ordinary arcade player, playing games at Main Event, Adventure Park and other arcades in Lubbock a couple of times a week. He gets thousands of points, which means a lot of prizes.

Coolbaugh wanted to give back to kids, so donating to CASA of the South Plains was an easy decision.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to give more with age, said Coolbaugh.

He gets most of his tickets from a game called “Flappy Bird”, getting on average 1000 tickets every time he plays. Normally, he plays for profit, selling the prizes online, but not this Christmas.

“I used to go for profit. Like I would win other prizes and sell them on Facebook groups, but for this one I wanted a senior project and in remembrance of my mom for the giving spirit,” said Coolbaugh. “It’s just doing something that’s nice for something who are less unfortunate that’s what it means to me.”

CASA of the South Plains is delighted to accept the prizes.

“We serve children who suffer from abuse and neglect in the South Plains area and so our advocates always try and make sure that they (the children) have Christmas and some gifts under the tree, so we’re just so thankful to Coolbaugh Chiropractic,” said Patti Castro with CASA of South Plains, adding these gifts are a way for the kids to feel like every other kid on Christmas.

“I’ve always loved games because it’s a form of entertainment that you can directly control. It’s different from watching a movie because when you’re watching a movie, you just sit there and watch, but when you play a game, you control what you’re doing,” said Coolbaugh, adding that he wants to instill the same love of games in other kids.

Castro with CASA of the South Plains says they’re always looking for volunteers. Most times, she says, the foster kids exceed the number of volunteers.

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