PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — On any given night, you can find a youthful group laughing, competing, strategizing and bonding at the new Mark Mazurek Gaming Center.
“I’d like to think he inspired them to come and play here,” said Karen Mazurek.
Bill and Karen Mazurek were honored when the Palm Harbor Library decided to name the new gaming center in their son’s honor.
“Mark considered the library staff family, a second family, and mark always loved gaming,” said Karen.
“Every week, he brought his team and they just did the role playing, they did a lot of gaming throughout the last several years that he was with us,” said Bill.
Mark spent so much time at the library that he ended up volunteering, and eventually working there.
“I walk in here and sometimes I tear up, but they are happy tears,” said Karen.
Mark died in a car accident in 2017 when the vehicle he was riding in slid off the road during a rainstorm near Tallahassee.
Librarian Samma Fagan worked with Mark and is also an avid fan of roll-playing games.
“It’s just a great sanctuary for us who got a little shunned for what we loved, these games allow us to express ourselves in ways that we don’t get another chance to do,” said Fagan.
The center includes a deluxe table top, as well as dozens of board games and hundreds of video games and role-playing games.
“A lot of the things here are donated from his room, a lot of his games, the characters on the book shelf, they were in Mark’s room,” said Karen.
Bill and Karen donated $12,000 toward the center and plan on continuing to expand and improve it every year.
“I’m proud as a parent just so we can share it with other teens and other children coming through the process just to give them a process to experience it,” said Bill.