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Gaming for a Good Cause

The CoLab (or University Heights Community Laboratory) located at 9 W. Northrup Place just off of Main Street in the University Heights has seen many different incarnations over its 4+ years of existence. Renovated with the sweat, tears (and sometimes blood) of volunteers using tools from The Tool Library next door, the CoLab has gone from a vacant storefront with chainlink on the windows, to a warm and welcoming place for the community to grow, experiment, and just ‘be’ together.

From a meeting space for area block clubs and business associations and a shoebox theatre for student-led one act plays, to a pop-up shop and art gallery and home to the Tool Library’s DIY workshop series, it’s a place “where no idea is too big or small to explore.”

Over the past semester, the team at the Tool Library has been working with students from the UB Honors College to launch the “Game Lab“, a one-day pop-up event and fundraiser hosted at The CoLab on Saturday, May 4th between 2PM and 10PM.

“The idea for the Game Lab came from a bunch of us sitting around a table playing euchre in the CoLab one evening and realizing this was one of the few times we were able to unplug and just enjoy one another’s company.” said Marty Seeger, Tool Library volunteer and board member.

A $10 donation gets you in the door and gives you 8 hours of unlimited access to all your favorite board game classics. From favorites like Scrabble, Jenga, and Monopoly to a Trivial Pursuit edition that still references the USSR and Edison v. Tesla, the impossibly complicated board game that no one has ever actually finished.

Where you like to challenge your wits or prefer games of chance, you can test your mettle against others at the CoLab. Join us for some tabling flipping fun with new friends & old favorites!

All proceeds from May’s Game Lab will benefit the Tool Library
Are you a community organization or nonprofit interested in hosting your own Game Lab?
Contact the Tool Library at

Written by Darren Cotton

Darren Cotton

Darren Cotton works as Director of Community Development & Planning at the University District Community Development Association (UDCDA). His work primarily focuses on housing rehabilitation, small business development, and community capacity building in the neighborhood's surrounding the University at Buffalo's South Campus. Prior to this, Darren served as an Associate Planner at the UB Regional Institute working on a regional sustainability initiative, the remediation of industrial brownfields, and an overhaul of Buffalo's zoning code. As a graduate student at UB, Darren founded the University Heights Tool Library in response to his experience renting from an absentee landlord. With a Bachelor's Degree in International Studies and Linguistics and a Master's Degree in Urban Planning all from UB, Darren works to bridge the gap between research, policy, and grassroots activism and is a firm believer that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

View All Articles by Darren Cotton
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