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Extra life offers 24 hours of games for a cause

The Beers and Board Games Club of Columbus will host its third annual 24-hour gaming marathon for the international day of gaming for the greater good. | Credit: Cheryl Harrison

Imagine a marathon of binge watching Netflix or playing video games without the dreaded unproductive feeling afterwards. It exists in the form of Extra Life, a fundraiser that unites thousands of gamers around the world to play games around the clock in support of their local children’s hospital.

Saturday, the Beers and Board Games Club of Columbus will host its third annual 24-hour gaming marathon to benefit Nationwide Children’s Hospital at Four String Brewing Company at 660 N Hague Avenue. The event is one of many across the world participating in a day of gaming for a greater good.

“A lot of people just participate though play games from home… we are just part of a bigger picture here,” said Cheryl Harrison, the president of the club. “We’re kind of board games focused but we’ll have Mario Kart and Smash Brothers, party games like Rock Band. Stuff that at 4 a.m. when you’re falling asleep is really nice to have something else to focus on.”

The day-long event starts at 11 a.m. Saturday and ends at 10 a.m. Sunday due to daylight saving time occurring at 2 a.m. The fundraiser will feature food trucks like Pingweeni’s and Mikey’s Late Night Slice along with raffle prizes from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Columbus Beerfest and more.

The yearly event is always a highlight for Beers and Board Games Club member Dolly Hayde, who will be participating for her third time.

“It’s honestly one of my favorite annual fundraisers,” Hayde said. “I’m not much for staying awake the whole 24 hours, but it’s always a great time. Usually a solid mix of club regulars and new faces, and it’s very easy to start or join a pickup game.”

As far as staying awake for one whole day, Harrison said not to worry as people typically come and go as they please.

“There are probably 15 of us who are crazy enough to ride it out for 24 hours,” Harrison said. “You are under no obligation to be as insane as those of us who are committed to this, you are definitely welcome to just come and hang out for a couple hours.”

The fundraising goal this year is $8,000, which would bring the total raised by the Beers and Board Games Club to more than $20,000. Four String Brewing Company will donate $1 from every beer sold while all of the food trucks will donate 10% of food sales. All of the proceeds will be donated to Nationwide Children’s Hospital through Extra Life.

Harrison said club members will also bring about 100 games from their own personal collections and would happily teach anyone not familiar with the likes of Sushi Go Party or Exploding Kittens.

“If the last game you played was maybe Monopoly or Scrabble or you’ve never heard of the types of games we are playing, people in our group are super friendly and we can find you something that fits your interest,” Harrison said.

Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $30 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a community of gamers Hayde is proud to be a part of.

“Extra Life donations are always classed as unrestricted gifts, which means that every dollar we raise goes to the areas of highest need, not benches with our names on them,” Hayde said.

The event is open to anyone 21 and over and admission is $10. To sign up, visit the Beer and Board Games’ Facebook page.

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