By Mike Strasser, Fort Lee Public AffairsNovember 26, 2008
Fort Lee, Va. (Nov. 26, 2008) -- The Fort Lee Youth Center is now wired for fun. A game room opened Nov. 21, with dozens of Madden Football pros ready to inaugurate the new facility with a tournament.
Brandon Ray, playing as the New England Patriots, breezed through the first round with a 30 - 0 rout.
"I'm the greatest Madden player alive," said Ray. "I call myself John Madden Jr. for a reason."
The self-proclaimed "Madden champ" said the new game center will give him an alternative for recreation. While not a frequent visitor to the Youth Center, the idea of competing in this football tournament was too intriguing for him to miss.
"This is a pretty nice set-up here. I like it," said Ray. "I will definitely be here again."
The game room now houses two 52" plasma TVs and 18 32" LCD TVs, as well as 20 different gaming consoles, such as the Playstation 3, XBox 360 and Wii systems. The renovations came at price tag of approximately $30,000, according to ShaVohn Curley, Middle School and Teen assistant director. With the new Child Development Center being constructed next door, the focus on Army Families hasn't wavered on Fort Lee since the Army Family Covenant signing a year ago, said Col. Michael Morrow, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lee commander.
"The growth we've been seeing in the CDC and all over the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs is a reflection of the Army Family Covenant," said Morrow. "It's the Army's way of giving back to the Families who are sacrificing so much for our freedoms."
Morrow joined Maj. Gen. James E. Chambers, Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee commanding general, in the ribbon-cutting ceremony prior to the Madden tournament. Chambers welcomed the youth, who just finished off a few boxes of pizza and were eager to test their digital football skills.
"When we came through here a few months ago, we saw a few games and a whole lot of people around them," said Chambers. "Now we have a whole bunch of games and an opportunity for more children to play whatever gaming systems they want. We think you're the very best, so we give you the very best equipment."