From video games to tabletop rpgs and boardgames, that time of the year is quickly approaching where we take our love of games and turn it into a cause to aid children in need around the nation. What a great opportunity to bring the community of gamers together and make our presence known through a worthwhile charity!
Extra Life began in 2008 as a way of honoring a young lady named Victoria Enmon. Tori’s battle against acute lymphoblastic leukemia inspired the Sarcastic Gamer Community in a way that is difficult to describe. Members sent in video games and bought gifts to keep Tori’s spirits up despite numerous hospital stays and three bouts with the deadly disease.
Tragically, we lost Tori to cancer in January 2008. Later that year, I asked my partners at Sarcastic Gamer if they would be interested in Extra Life, a 24-hour video game marathon to raise money for the hospital that treated and fought beside Tori. In 2008 and 2009 Extra Life raised a combined $302,000, 100 percent of which went directly to help kids like Tori at my local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital (Texas Children’s Hospital).
While thousands of gamers, more than 100 websites and more than 12,000 donors were happy to support Extra Life, many expressed their desire to raise money to help kids closer to home. In what I can only consider destiny, in 2009 I left behind my radio career and went to work full-time for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals as a Radiothon Director. This life-changing event gave me unique insight into an incredible non-profit organization that helps kids all over the United States and Canada.
I quickly realized that Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals would be the perfect solution to expand Extra Life into more communities.
I participated in 2014, falling short of my fundraising goal by $20 but walking away with a warmed heart and well appreciated support from a new community of Gamer friends. Although the 24 hours of gaming was pretty grueling for this old guy (yeah, I’m a fossil), and I swore I wouldn’t put myself through that again, I feel the need to put myself up to the challenge once more for this great cause.
I’ve joined team MOG Nation, the group I played with last year and I will once again run my 24 hour stream so you can watch me suffer through countless game fails, epic deaths and marvel at my n00bness. Just don’t forget to bring your wallet, give for the children while knowing that 100% of the contributions go to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.