When Cody Davis conceived the idea for Cody's Gamers, he envisioned the eventual possibility of hosting a big event to marry his love of video games with public service.
The Patriots defensive back was new to New England in 2021 and looking for a way to give back to the community while working around the COVID-19 pandemic. He began playing video games on Twitch with kids at Boston Children's Hospital, but an in-person event was always the goal for his charity initiative.
With help from the Patriots Foundation, the Wonderfund, and more than a dozen of his teammates, Davis made that vision a reality, with Cody's Gamers hosting children in foster care for a fun day of gaming at Helix eSports.
"This is the first in-person event," Davis said. "When we started talking about it, this was the grand vision, you know, having a big event that people can actually come to and game and see us face-to-face. I'm just super excited and blessed to have that come to fruition and do this for Foster Care Awareness and really bring some joy to these kids."
According to the Wonderfund, a non-profit that serves to offer support to children in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, 65 children participated in the event.
"We serve about 10,000 foster children in Massachusetts, and events like this that are provided by the Patriots are just phenomenal for our kids," Wonderfund director of partnerships Jenny Nardone said. "It gives them a sense of feeling special and doing something really interesting and fun and inspiring. The Patriots do it for us all the time."
The afternoon featured a Super Smash Bros. tournament, raffles, prizes, and the chance to play games with some of their favorite Patriots players.
Cornerback Jonathan Jones got to play Madden with a child who shared his same name, and birthday boy Nelson Agholor took great pride in watching another kid use the video-game version of himself to score a game-winning touchdown against Kendrick Bourne.
While the Wonderfund saw 100% attendance, there was plenty of representation from the Patriots as well.
Along with Davis, Jones, Agholor and Bourne, teammates Matthew Slater, Deatrich Wise Jr., Jakobi Meyers, JJ Taylor, Devin Asiasi, Justin Bethel, Myles Bryant, Raekwon McMillan, Ty Montgomery, Bill Murray, Jahlani Tavai and Joejuan Williams also came out to play.
The support meant a lot to Davis, but he certainly wasn't surprised to see the turnout from players.
"We're a bunch of big kids running around, so I knew video games would bring them in," Davis said. "I'm super thankful that they're so supportive of this idea and I'm excited to have him here interacting with the kids."
To learn more about the Wonderfund click here.