Children’s Hospital to host Extra Life: Gaming for a good cause

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Photo Courtesy of sledgehammergames.com
Photo Courtesy of sledgehammergames.com

Sophie Clark
CONTRIBUTOR

Have a passion for gaming? Use your talent to raise money for Children’s Hospital in their upcoming Extra Life fundraiser.

Extra Life was created in 2008 to honor the late Tori Enmon, a 15-year-old Children’s Miracle Network Hospital patient who played video games during her battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Extra Life participants’ fundraising directly benefits Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the United States and Canada.

Hospitals use the funds where they are needed most, typically to purchasee equipment, conduct research and provide uncompensated care.

Extra Life has raised more than $22 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals nationwide.

“Extra Life continues to grow because it answers a very simple question: How can I use my love of gaming to make life better for kids in my community?” founder of Extra Life Jeromy Adams said. “The call to give back is connecting children’s hospital advocates across North America — from families to college students and everyone in between. Play games to heal kids treated at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.”

One major benefit of the fundraiser is that all the money that’s raised stays local, according to Jane Phillips, director of developments at Children’s Hospital.

“At Children’s, we turn no child away due to inability to pay,” Phillips said.

In Omaha, many of the programs Children’s Hospital provides are not reimbursed. Omaha’s Children’s Hospital also helps families from out of town with Rainbow House by allowing them to stay in Omaha while their child is undergoing care. Fundraisers like Extra Life help cover these costs.

Omaha’s Children’s Hospital has been participating in the nation-wide fundraiser since 2011.

“It’s been growing ever since,” Phillips said. “Last year, we had three hundred or so participants and our aim is to increase that significantly. The typical gamer for Extra Life raises about one hundred dollars.”

In 2015, they were able to raise close to $47,000.

“We’re grateful to our community for the support that is so unique to kids,” Phillips said.

As for the participants, there is no specific age range.

“It’s not just the teenagers who participate; it’s people all the way through adulthood,” Phillips said.

Though the majority play digital games with consoles, participants are also encouraged to play table-top or board games as well.

Phillips encourages UNO student gamers to register in order to support a local cause. “If you already play games, this is another way to ignite your passion and also help others,” Phillips said.

This year, Phillips’ hope is to have 500 participants registered on Nov. 8. WOWT is a sponsor and will be live-streaming the event.

To register for free go to extra-life.org, choose your local CMN Hospital, set a fundraising goal and begin asking family and friends for donations.

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