Laser tag a hit Student brings popular game to the area
SAYRE - Forget cowboys and Indians, kids.
Now that it's the 21st Century, kids of all ages - including some adults - were playing "laser tag" in the Sayre High School's gymnasium on Saturday.
"It was awesome!" said Sayre High student Damion Bidlack, one of almost 60 people who were playing the game in the gym.
Lorenzo Servedio, who organized Saturday's event for his senior project at Sayre High, said he started playing laser tag when he went to national Future Business Leaders of America competitions in large cities, such as Nashville, Tenn.
"I always loved laser tag, so I wanted to bring it here," he said.
During the event, two teams at a time, each having up to six people, faced off in the gym, Each member of a team was equipped with a toy handgun that shoots out a type of light beam, said Jennifer Servedio, Lorenzo Servedio's mother.
Every time a person hit a member of the opposing team with an infra-red light beam, he or she scored a point for his or her team.
The battle between the two teams lasted 15 minutes, and the team that racked up the most points during that time won the match.
Each participant wore a vest that can detect if it is hit with the infra-red light beam. Participants aimed for the chest of their opponent.
The entire event runs wirelessly using a computer, which keeps track of the score, she said.
The lights in the gym were turned out for the event, so the matches were conducted in nearly dark conditions.
Affixed to each vest were four red bulbs, and when a person was hit, the bulbs in his or her vest would flash, making the victim look a little like a walking Christmas tree.
Participants hid behind inflated barriers to try to avoid being hit, many of which were six feet tall and three feet in diameter.
Teachers at Sayre High supervised the event.
Derek Sellick, an advisor to Sayre High's FBLA chapter, said that, as far as he knows, laser tag had not been played previously in the Valley.
Lorenzo Servedio said he expected Saturday's event to raise approximately $1,000, which will be donated to the American Trauma Society. The American Trauma Society works to prevent injuries through education.
Lorenzo Servedio organized and rented the equipment for Saturday's event from Laser Tag Source of Lynchburg, Va., his mother said. He also secured sponsors for the event, which were Dandy Mini Marts, Simmons Rockwell and the LA Styles hair salon, and advertised the event in the media, she said.
Several local businesses also donated pizza for the event.
Many of the participants at Saturday's event were high school students. The first match of the day, for example, pitted the Sayre High's boys swim team against the school's girls swim teams.
Participants each paid $15 to play.
James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.