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Celebrity paintball tournament benefits inner-city kids

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


Charity and competition were one and the same at the Fourth Annual Moving Mountains Celebrity Paintball Tournament.

The Monday, June 3 event raised money for Moving Mountains, a charity founded by Brooklyn native Jamie Hector, star of television shows including “The Wire” and “Heroes.”

The non-profit organization, which launched in 2008, aims to help inner-city children find their artistic voice through film or stage acting.

“The aim of the organization is to show children that, with faith, you can move any mountain,” Hector said. “Moving Mountains teaches youth to build on their skills, talents and abilities with character. Ultimately, we want to help them find success in acting so they can return and give back to their communities.”

So why paintball?

“We really wanted to do something fun,” he said. “Fundraisers are often suit and tie events, but this is the fourth year we have been doing a paintball tournament and it’s just plain fun.”

The tournament was held at Indoor Extreme Sports in Long Island City. Along with a 10,000-square-foot paintball course, it offers laser tag and archery tag.

The facility is run by Peter and Michele Formoselle, who recently added a simulated zombie survival scenario on Friday nights to their list of services.

“All the proceeds from the tournament go towards Moving Mountains,” said Peter Formoselle. “We don’t advertise it, but the tournament still draws about 20 teams with more than 100 participants.”

Along with Hector, celebrities at the event included “Wire” castmates Felicia Pearson, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and J.D. Williams, among other actors.

Moving Mountains will host its third annual Honors Benefit on June 11 at the Hasted Kraeutler Gallery in Manhattan. This year, honorees include Harlem Children’s Zone president and CEO Geoffrey Canada and Hall of Fame football player Curtis Martin along with musician and actor Bryan Greenberg.