Charity capitalizes off Pokemon Go craze to combat drug addictio - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Charity capitalizes off Pokemon Go craze to combat drug addiction

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An app called Elephant Go, which was created by a 13-year-old, is creating a buzz in Woodbury. (WFSB) An app called Elephant Go, which was created by a 13-year-old, is creating a buzz in Woodbury. (WFSB)
WOODBURY, CT (WFSB) -

A Connecticut charity is trying to make a play off of popularity of a smartphone game and it's creating a big buzz in Woodbury.

Jack Wolf, 13, built a smartphone app with the help of a non-profit organization called Random Hacks of Kindness Junior.

Advocates for Substance Abuse Prevention, or ASAP, enlisted Jack and others to spread the word about addiction help.

“We’re trying to bring awareness to ASAP and the community," said MaryAnne Van Aken, co-chair of ASAP.

Jack created the app called "Elephant Go."

“We work with them to code the app but we provide the goal or the purpose of the app with a nonprofit," said Patrice Gans, Random Hacks of Kindness.

It essentially works like the popular Pokemon Go app.

"You go around with a tablet finding the elephants," Jack said.

He said the elephants are hiding in 20 local businesses.

"You scan the code on the elephant," he said. "[It] brings up a little fact about ASAP."

The elephants were all uniquely designed by local teens.

“We do a lot of things to try to get young people to make good choices and good decisions so they don’t go down that road to begin with, so it’s very important that we continue to have a presence in the community," Van Aken said.

The goal is also to make sure the community as a whole knows there is help available to those who need it.

Marla Martin, the adult program coordinator at the Woodbury Public Library, said players who collect all of the elephants will be entered into a drawing for one of several family-friendly prizes such as a family membership to the Flanders Nature Center.

Martin said no personal information is taken when players use the app. However, contact information will be used for the drawing, which happens in September.

ASAP will also be on hand for a "Hoedown at the Hollow" event at Hollow Park in Woodbury. It will be handing out free snow cones and Elephant Go information. That's happening Saturday at 5 p.m.

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