Chris Akin is a pinball wizard and has put on a twist to community service at his Beaver County gaming business.
Pinball PA at 2284 Brodhead Road in the Hopewell Shopping Center has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters to offer its mentors and children a deal.
The individual rate for two hours of play is $20. They are offering that price for both brothers and sisters with their mentor.
“We always give passes to the various local charities,” said Akin of Twinsburg, Ohio. “I just thought I’d rather do something a little more. We thought that was a fair price to where we can keep the lights on at our place and do something the other kids might not get to do.
“There’s never going to stop being a need for Big Brothers Big Sisters to have something affordable to do with the kids they’re working with.”
So far the deal is only for the Beaver County branch, which handles distributing the coupons. Pinball PA is in the process of negotiations with the Allegheny County chapter.
“The hope is we reach out to anybody that’s within driving distance,” said Akin. “It’s such a good charity for kids that really don’t get that kind of an opportunity and don’t have mentors. We’re very excited to be a part of a charity like this.”
Akin started Pinball PA with its curator, Ed Beeler, three years ago. Akin’s son, Zakk, handles the day-to-day operations.
They have 400 machines, 200 pinball and 200 arcade, along with a little museum with news clippings and gaming and pinball memorabilia.
“We basically wanted to keep the gaming world alive,” Akin said. “We have some really rare machines along with the common things you’d expect. People get a little tour if they want it to learn the history and go play.”
Arcade games include Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Defender, Asteroids and a rare working Fire Chief that uses actual water. Pinball games include Addams Family, Tron and the rare Thunderball.
Hours of operation are 2-10 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. Pinball PA is closed Mondays.
Call 412-423-8532 or visit pinballpa.com for more information.