If you’re a longtime follower of OCM, you may recall our Annual Michigan Pinball Expo contests where we gave away passes to the MI Pinball Expo – an event held at Oakland University that included a set up of hundreds of pinball machines set on free play.
The organizer of the event, John Kosmal, was a great friend. I am sorry to say that he recently passed away unexpectedly in his sleep just last week. John was young and left us way too soon. He leaves behind his beautiful wife, Natalie, and his sweet three young children ranging in age from 20 months to 5 years old.
Natalie is a full-time stay-at-home mother and the family will face a very challenging financial situation. John and Natalie are both passionate about their children’s education and have made it priority in their development. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help ensure that the children will have the opportunity to continue their education and attend college in the future. All of the money will go directly to Natalie to help her achieve that goal.
In case you’re able to help, we wanted to share the GoFundMe page with you. Please donate if you can.
The first Michigan Pinball Expo took place in 2010 at Oakland University and John reached out to us for help promoting the event. This was my introduction to John Kosmal. Not entirely sure of his “vision,” we gave away a bunch of FREE wristbands for the 4-day event in the form of an Oakland County Moms contest. John invited us to check the event out. We were thrilled with the event and the winners of our contests really enjoyed it. Best of all, this was our first introduction to John. John organized and promoted this event for one reason – his love of pinball machines. MI Pinball Expo was a monstrous event to organize and “KOZ” managed to get local TV, newspapers, radio, and yours truly involved in promoting it.
Why would a pinball machine fanatic reach out to a Moms website? Because John knew, and convinced me, that the event would be a HUGE hit with local families – and it was! We were stunned at the large number of very young children with their parents enjoying the big 1970s & 80s pinball machines together! “KOZ” expanded the event in subsequent years to include contests (for kids), low-cost entry to the event, and even a raffle to win a real full-sized pinball machine. John ran MI Pinball Expo with great success for 6 years. Family and his landscaping business were his priority and the last Oakland University MI Pinball Expo was held in 2016. People still ask us about it and inquire if “there is going to be that pinball show at OU this year?”.
John and I remained in contact over the years. He even helped us a secure a stand-up arcade game for our basement when we had it refinished.
Thank you and RIP, John. You will be missed.