The Empire State Sports Foundation, which has taken over the running of the Empire State Games and is set to relaunch the summer Games in Rochester in 2013, announced a public fundraising campaign Thursday.

The foundation launched the “Fuel The Torch” appeal aimed at supporters, alumni and athletes across the state. The winter Games are scheduled to take place in Lake Placid on Feb. 7-10, 2013, and the summer games will be relaunched July 24-28 in the Rochester area.

Rochester native, ESG alum and current New Jersey Devil Stephen Gionta was part of the appeal’s launch.

“The Empire State Games are the premier amateur sporting event in New York State, and a source of pride for all New Yorkers,” Gionta said in a release. “These games were one of the best experiences of my hockey career. It was an experience that changed my life, and I hope that all alumni, and New York sports fans as a whole, come together to support the work of this foundation.”

The Empire State Sports Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, will depend primarily on individual donations and corporate sponsorship to fund the Games.

“Work is progressing every day to bring back the games,” foundation Chief Operating Officer Scott Bell said in a release. “But to make these the biggest and best Games they can be, we need athletes, alumni ... to show their support and give from their heart.

“It’s our hope that we will be able to make certain that the games are better than ever, and around for the next generation of New Yorkers.”

Information on donating is available at