The Central West Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (CWC-FPRA) recently hosted an event called “Operation Gratitude” in honor of John Spinello, the inventor of the classic board game Operation. The organization raised more than $10,000, with proceeds split between Spinello and the Family Network on Disabilities of Manasota (FND), a local nonprofit organization that assists families of children with disabilities and special needs.
Spinello’s story is chronicled in the 28-documentary OPERATION: Operation the Power of Play. After striking a raw deal to sell the patent to the game for $500 and forfeiting his rights to royalties, Spinello saw the game go on to sell 45 million copies. Now 82 years old, Spinello says he's not bitter about the trajectory of his life, although his financial situation forced him to sell his dream home and he now drives for a ride-sharing service.