It’s that time of year again. Tiny chocolate bars line the shelves of the grocery store, pumpkin spice coffee is a thing, and, at least in my neck of the woods, we start taking bets on whether it will snow before or after Halloween. Which can only mean one thing: Extra Life is just around the corner.
Extra Life is an annual, gaming-themed fundraising event. It started out as a grassroots charity, eventually became a part of the Children’s Miracle Network, and at the local level still runs on a network of volunteers. I am one of them, and have been for the past ten years.
Here’s how it works: fundraisers (like me) ask for donations on behalf of our local children’s hospitals. Then, on the first weekend of November, the global Extra Life community comes together for one epic 24-hour game-a-thon. This could be video games, board games, tabletop, heck if you want to play Twister for 24 hours no one’s going to stop you (but I wouldn’t recommend it). It’s the same basic premise as any other sort of charity marathon, and due to a combination of government grants and unpaid volunteers, 100% of all donations made via Extra Life go to the hospitals. No bull.
This year, the hospital I play for – which always relies on private donations to provide the scope and quality of care that it does, as its budget is folded into that of the general hospital it also shares a building with – has announced a five-year fundraising push to finance integrated, clinical mental health services. They want to create a 24/7 emergency mental health clinic, a dedicated team of psychiatrists, nurses, and social workers to work alongside physicians for bedside care, and provide specialized support for patients and their families in the wake of a suicide attempt. The Stollery does good work, and wants to do even more, and this is a goal I am behind one hundred percent.
If this sounds like a cause you’re interested in supporting, follow the link below to my fundraising page. It includes more details about the services provided by the Stollery, as well as a link to their website which includes annual reports and audited financial statements.
In the meantime, life has gotten in the way of our new campaign’s Session 0, but the behind-the-scenes scheming is in full swing. I hope to have some updates for you next week with a sneak peek at my new character, and perhaps a hint or two of what lies ahead. I am incredibly excited to tell our new story, explore some Savage Worlds mechanics I’ve never used before, and show the ruffians of the high seas who’s boss – in style.