Fundraising in a friendly competition
Since 2008, thousands of gamers unite every year through a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals program called Extra Life to raise money via a gaming competition for local CMN hospitals across North America. Extra Life donations stay local to fund critical treatment, health care services, medical equipment and charitable care. Last month, the annual Extra Life United tournament took place nationally. This event raised more than $80,000 alone for UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital! In total, participants raised more than $10 million for children’s hospitals across the nation.
Joey Mock, president of the Gainesville Extra Life Guild, is responsible for recruitment and publicity in the local community. A guild is a collection of gamers tied to a CMN hospital that acts as the “official” Extra Life team for that hospital.
He said Extra Life sets themselves apart from other fundraising events by bringing an online community together.
“Extra Life is gaming-focused; any game can be played to raise funds, and we are focused on raising funds all year,” Mock said. “Since you can play any game any time, Extra Life is open to anyone who can game regardless of age, skill-level or availability.”
The mission is to help heal kids, and Extra Life members raise awareness by fundraising and recruiting others to join their guild. Mock personally raised over $300 at the Extra Life United tournament and $700 at his local event.
The success of this year’s “United” tournament inspired the local Extra Life guild to continue their efforts for future events. This organization has members “who love playing their favorite games in support for local sick and injured kids,” Mock said.
“The best memory from this year’s tournament was having a CMN Ambassador family visit our event,” Mock said.