Gaming event aims to help Children’s Hospital

A group of local gaming enthusiasts are using their hobby as a unique way to fundraise for the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.

Sometimes those extra lives come in handy when you’re in the middle of a game session.

A group of local gaming enthusiasts are using their hobby as a unique way to fundraise for the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.

For a $10 entry fee, anyone can come down to the Eagles Hall in Cranbrook on Saturday, Oct. 4 from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. and game on their favourite video game platform, board game, or card games—from the traditional poker and blackjack to others such as Risk, Settlers of Catan and Dungeons and Dragons.

The event—Extra Life—is the brainchild of Jeff Johnson, Dave Miller and Erin Schulz. Miller’s son, Alexander, required a heart transplant in 2005 and received one through the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Miller has participated in Extra Life fundraisers over the years, and teamed up with Johnson and Schulz to organize a local event this year.

“If you’ve got a game that you would like to play with other people in your community, bring it out,” Johnson says. “I can envision myself sitting down to play Mario Kart 64 with a group of gamers at one moment, then turning around and joining a game of crib only minutes later. The opportunities are endless.”

Along with the admission fee, there will be a concession, a 50-50 draw and a raffle, including prizes such as a $300 dollar prize package from the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort, Cards Against Humanity and all of its expansions, autographed Mick Foley merchandise, Destiny for the PlayStation 4, and the grand prize—a digital platinum package from Video Games Live, valued at $1,500 dollars.

“The outpouring of support we have seen from both the local business community and international sponsors has been amazing,” Johnson says. “Games like Destiny, Dance Central: Spotlight and Cards Against Humanity are all available as prizes, thanks to some awesome game developers who recognize the need to support our children’s hospitals any way we can.”

The Children’s Hospital in Calgary was chosen as the recipient for the fundraiser based on Miller’s past experience with his son, but also because of it’s proximity to the East Kootenay.

“I have a two-year-old daughter myself, and while I have never needed the services of the Alberta Children’s Hospital for her healthcare, I know how important it is to raise funds and support that hospital,” Johnson says. “Many families need their support and I may need it for my children one day.”