Project Pinball: What Have You Done to Make a Difference?

Real Estate Agent with Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL 676419



What have you done to make a difference in your community?

Project Pinball

Years ago I enrolled in a local leadership program by the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce.  The program was called Leadership Bonita.  On “Healthcare Day” our class toured various hospitals and medical centers, including Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida; in particular we tour the Chrissy Brown Hematology and Oncology Center.  It’s where kids with blood disorders or cancer visit for treatment.

In the family room of this hospital wing our leadership class gathered to go over our schedule and visit.  It was there that I noticed a broken down pinball machine.  It was a disaster. I have some pretty eclectic friends so I texted a photo to a “pinball friend” who immediately shot back a text wanting to know more.  I told him it is in the children’s hospital and it’s not operational.  I then told the hospital employee giving us the tour that I know men who won’t be able to sleep at night knowing these kids can’t play it. 

Project PinballThis broken pinball machine was a gift in memory of a late patient, an honor roll elementary school student and decorated Cub Scout who passed away at age 11 in April 2000. The plaque on the machine reads: “If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, we’d walk right up to heaven, and bring you home again.  In loving memory of Jimmy Schneeberger.” … and yes, I still tear up when I read that, even after all of these years.

The repair took over $1,000 in parts plus over 100 man hours of labor to get Spidey back on his feet.  Volunteers and benefactors from all over the country sent money, parts and gifts to get this machine back to the unit in time for the Christmas holidays for all of those brave little warriors fighting the battle.

Project Pinball, the charity, was born and has now evolved into a full blown 501(C)(3) called Project Pinball Charity Group. 

Naturally, I’m still pushing this charity as a major contributor, the publicist, webmaster and social media master.   On a monthly basis, we visit Spidey up at Chrissy Brown to keep him in tip top shape and to make sure that machine never ends up in disrepair again.

The last several weeks have been remarkable for Project Pinball.  Recently, it has been selected as the feature charitable organization for a national pinball league. During the month of July there are (to date) 42 cities across the United States holding fundraising tournaments and with proceeds benefit Project Pinball.  The plan is to place more machines in other children's hospitals.  At this time, there is one going in Tampa, Jacksonville, plus I believe a goal of Seattle and Pittsburgh in the near future.  The director of Project Pinball is Daniel Spolar 239-287-5497 if anyone would like to learn more.  Donations can be made via PayPal at and you can also follow us at 



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Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Wow! What a great way to contribute Chris! The saying on the plaque made me tear up as well.

Jul 13, 2014 01:15 AM #1
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Agent

Thank you for stopping by!

Jul 13, 2014 04:57 AM #2
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Chris - a BIG suggest for quality content. You are a shining example of how inspiration can be spread by a simple post that reads like Chicken Soup for the Soul. Because of what you have written, others will be touched. This just goes to show, one simple act, not turning your head away, made an enormous difference, exactly the way Jimmy would have wanted it.

Thank you Chris. SUGGESTED!!!

Jul 13, 2014 06:57 AM #3
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

That is very cool.  One little conversation snow balled into a great project.  Thanks for the post.

Jul 14, 2014 03:51 AM #4
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Agent

Thank you.  Above the fold in the paper today, even!

Jul 14, 2014 04:00 AM #5
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

excellent story, you got Spidey working again

Jul 14, 2014 05:19 AM #6
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

God Bless you and all those who support this worthy and compassionate organization with their time, energy, support and money. 

Jul 14, 2014 08:48 AM #7
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Agent

Again, thank you!

Jul 14, 2014 12:10 PM #8
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

What a wonderful cause and thoughtful idea!  I'd tear up too if I ready that plaque on a broken down machine, let alone the entire meaning behind the sign.  Bless you for making those children's time in the hospital more fun! 

Jul 14, 2014 12:23 PM #9
Bob Force (REALTOR®)
Weichert - McKenna & Vane - Mount Airy, MD
The FORCE in Maryland Real Estate

Thank you Chris.  It is people and a tons like you this that make a better world for all of us.

Again thank you.

Jul 14, 2014 09:21 PM #10
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

That's a great idea & maybe other hospitals will follow suit.

Jul 15, 2014 04:41 AM #11
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Chris~ Isn't it wonderful how one small project could turn in to something so amazing! I'm sure the kids love this!

Jul 15, 2014 05:34 AM #12
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker
iXL Real Estate-Wiregrasss\ - Enterprise, AL
email: / cell: 334-494-7846

GREAT project. I've watched the Restoration show from Nevada where the guy has re-done some old machines. The price is HUGE, but....

Jul 15, 2014 06:22 AM #13
Anna Hatridge
Goodson Realty - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with Goodson Realty

How thoughtful!  You have chosen a great group to be associated with and should be proud of all you have been able to accomplish.

Jul 23, 2014 09:46 AM #14
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Agent

Thank you all. We've been blessed this month with a lot of media attention and tournaments in our honor.  Today we picked up a donated machine that the folks no longer had room for. It's an older machine that is great for fund raisers and events.  We try to put the newer games in the hospitals.  Today we dropped off a brand new Star Trek at our printer's office for a few days. They helped so much with logos, branding, printing, banners, stickers, the whole nine, we thought it would be fun to set up in their lobby and give the employees a good time.  Next it goes up I75 from Southwest Florida to Pittsburgh to be delivered to a tournament and then I believe a children's hospital in that area.  This one will have more miles, than plays on it. lol

Jul 23, 2014 10:10 AM #15
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Chris-That sounds like an outstanding organization. Even a few minutes of fun time is great for the patients who have so many obstacles to overcom.

Aug 03, 2014 07:15 AM #16
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