Lending support for an Extra Life

Gaming fundraiser searching for volunteers for event to help raise money for Alberta Children's Hospital.

Extra lives are a handy feature in video games, but unfortunately, it’s not a luxury that extends to real life.

With that in mind, a local Cranbrook resident is teaming up with some friends for a unique fundraiser to raise money for a children’s hospital in Calgary.

For the second year in a row, Dave Miller and a team of volunteers are organizing an Extra Life Game Day at Eagles Hall on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015.

The game day, which will go from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., will include video gaming on all kinds of systems, board games, card games, including Dungeons and Dragons, and table top games.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 years old and under.

“This year’s going to be a lot more organized because we didn’t know what we were doing last year,” Miller joked.

“This year we’ve got a lot more organized play. We’re going to have a timetable set up so people can see both on our Facebook page before the event so they can sign up for, say people like Settlers of Catan, which is a popular game, but if you don’t know that it’s happening, you can’t really set it up to play.

“So people will know to sign up ahead of time so the guy that’s running the Catan game will know at this time, I’ll expect this many people to show up.”

The inaugural event last year raised $3,500 which was donated to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.

It’s a cause that’s close to Miller’s heart as his son, Alexander, received treatment for Cardiomyopathy—where the heart grows to an abnormal size—at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.

When Alexander was a year old, he was the youngest Canadian to ever receive an artificial heart. He is currently a happy and healthy 10-year-old with no signs of rejection from the treatment.

“When I learned of Extra Life, I knew I would support this cause in any way I could,” said Miller. “While I hope that no parent would ever have to go through the same ordeal I did, I know that’s not reality.”

While Miller’s son received treatment in Edmonton, the proceeds are going to the children’s hospital in Calgary as most kids in the East Kootenay area who are in need of treatment are likely sent there.

There will raffles with some pretty top-end prizes, such as an Xbox, with one tier of prizes being catered to adults only, while the other one will be open to kids, teens and adults.

Though the fundraiser is a ways off, Miller and his team are looking for volunteers to help out with set up, tear down and the running of the actual event. There will be a volunteer recruitment meeting on Friday, Sept. 11th, at McDonalds from 6-8 p.m.

There are a wide range of potential volunteer roles, said Miller.

“The simplest role is the floor walker, some who is there walking around, making sure that the rules are being followed, making sure everyone is having a good time,” he said.

“If they see that someone is having trouble with a game or having trouble trying to find someone to play with, a floor walker can just sit down and say, ‘Hey, let’s start a game.’

“We could still use a few table heads for the larger games, so we need people to run those games. Then there is also the kids corner, which we’re still working on finding people for.

“We need people with childcare experience for that, it’s something new for us, but it’s been requested—just a place for people to drop off their kids while they go play a game.”

For more information, check out the event on Facebook by visiting www.facebook.com/extralifegamedaycbk. If anyone is interested in volunteering or sponsoring the event, contact miller at 250-421-9404 or email at extralifegamedaycranbrook@hotmail.com