Friday, August 29, 2014

Gamers play 25 hours for charity

Video Game Club raises funds for children

Video games reigned supreme in the fourth floor of DeMoss Hall Nov. 2 as the Video Game Club gathered to play video games for 25 hours in an effort to save kids’ lives.
The gaming session was part of an international event known as Extra Life.

“Extra Life started in 2007 with Texas radio personality Jeromy ‘Doc’ Adams raising money by playing video games for Tori Enmon, a young girl battling cancer,” Jack Whisler of the Centra Foundation said. “Tori lost her battle, but the spirit of raising funds to help sick and injured children caught fire across the country.”

According to Whisler, gamers can participate in the fundraiser as individuals or, in the case of the Video Game Club, groups.

“Due to the ease of access and simple way to become involved, participation has reached global proportions and increased exponentially every year,” Samuel Adams, president of the Video Game Club, said.

According to Whisler, the groups raise money online by asking for friends and family to support them as they play video games for 24 hours. Due to the end of Daylight Saving Time, this year’s event lasted 25 hours.

Along with financial support from friends and family, the Liberty Video Game Club rallied the donations of nearby restaurants.

“We have been reaching out to local businesses to acquire sponsors, and Dominos and Buffalo Wild Wings told us they would provide food,” Adams said. “What better way to draw college students than fun and free food?”

The event began with 10-15 people at 8 a.m. on Saturday, according to Adams. Over the course of the day, more students arrived to participate in multiple games and tournaments.

According to Whisler, the funds raised by the club will stay in the local community.

“Donations selected for Centra Lynchburg General are earmarked to help build a new pediatric pod in the emergency department at Lynchburg General Hospital to provide a child-secure, child-friendly, newly-equipped facility to better treat children brought to the emergency department,” Whisler said.

According to Adams, he believes the efforts of his club will greatly improve the hospital environment for Lynchburg’s children.

“Currently, they are being treated with everyone else, sometimes next to drug addicts and alcoholics, so this separate facility would be very beneficial in their treatment and comfort,” Adams said.

According to Whisler, an estimated 40,000 gamers around the world played for 25 hours and raised approximately $4 million. For information about becoming involved in Extra Life, visit exra-life.org.

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