BY RONALD HANAKI
SC Staff Writer
There is a new board game in town called Stroud-opoly. It is a spin on Monopoly, the famous game by Milton Bradley. The difference between the two is the squares on Stroud-opoly feature Stroudsburg-area businesses like Main Street Jukebox, Brewski’s, and Pocono Lodge.
Stroud-opoly is the brainchild of George T. Mason, and sales go to Toys for Tots, a charity that donates toys to underprivileged youths. The goal is to raise enough money to donate $15,000 to Toys for Tots. Stroud-opoloy costs $20 to buy and is available from select local retail outlets.
Mason said, “I was looking for a way to raise money for Toys for Tots, and my Masonic Lodge (J. Simpson Africa Lodge www.jsa628.com) was looking for a civic service project. Toys for Tots do pretty well with their donation bins for infants to 7-8 years old, but when it comes to 10-18 years old, they get very few donations. The fund raising project is to raise money to fill that gap.”
Mason thought of Monopoly because it was his first experience in learning how to handle money.
To be sure, there have been similar games based on Monopoly featuring other local area businesses like Scranton-opoly and Wilkes-Barre-opoly, but this one is featuring businesses based in the Stroudsburg area.
“The local businesses get the benefit of having their business name in front of a player for the expected game life average of 20 years. So for the next 20 years, the player or players of that game has that name in front of them,” said Mason.
He continued, “They [children] grow up knowing that Brett J. Riegel is the guy they want to call if they get in trouble, or Sawmill Furniture is where they should buy their couch, or Sal from Cottman Transmission will fix their car, or Pocono Cycle is where they should buy their motorcycle.”
“All of the advertised are local mom and pop shops, with no corporately owned stores. These are our friends and neighbors that we can count on,” Mason added.
The game consists of a board, six tokens, cottages, inns, and drawing cards.
The squares on the board represent advertising that local businesses paid for. Along with “Site Works,” ESU itself is featured with the “Warrior Spirit” drawing cards. ESSA Bank & Trust contributed by donating the fake money for the game.
According to Mason, 99% of these games sell between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and Stroud-opoly saw brisk sales during the holiday season last year.
Main Street Jukebox is sold out of the game, but because the game hit the market late in the holiday season, Mason still has some inventory left. He hopes to sell the rest of the games this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Mason said, “It is a pleasure to have done this project, but it was a lot of work. I hope to make this Christmas a happy one for lots of kids.”
Currently, the game is still available in retail from Brewski’s and Regina Farms. There is also a website, www.jsa628.com/Stroudopoly.htm, where George Mason can be contacted directly.
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