Monday, 6 November 2017

Game day 2017

A marathon isn't supposed to be easy. The guy who the term is named for died, after all, or so the legend goes.

Whether you're running a long ways or staying awake playing games for 25 hours, the point of a marathon is to test yourself. Succeed and there may not be a prize other than pride at the end of it, but that is often worth the effort.

We do our annual marathon because there are kids in hospitals who don't have any choice but to face a marathon every day.

We do it because Dominic finished his marathon, and now we take up the torch in his honour.

Dominicstrong game day 2017 was held at Beveridge Landmark Events in Medicine Hat Nov. 4 and 5, raising $966 in cash donations between entry fees and a dinner courtesy Skinny's Smokehouse. Beveridge donated the space, their downstairs Cellar room, and Skinny's donated dinner. Big Eatz Little Feetz, who are opening a fondue restaurant called Prairie Fork this coming week, donated breakfast and snack trays, while Sinful and Sweet gave a few dozen cupcakes. The Medicine Hat Public Library loaned out a bunch of games. Finally, VR Junkies were gracious enough to bring in a racing setup for the overnight hours for our gamers to try out. We are so grateful to have all of these businesses step up and play a part in the event.

The gamers were the real heroes of the day. Their individual Extra Life pages combined to raise about $1,500 during those 25 hours. They played board games, video games, games on their phones, you name it. Some of us learned new games, we all had fun with some old favourites, but the important thing was we shared what we were doing and why, and helped up the total for the Alberta Children's Hospital.

And then we slept. Oh, how we slept. Trish and I couldn't have done it without her mom, who drove in from Calgary to take care of Samantha. Only tonight are we finally getting back to normal.

This year we've undertaken a lot under the #Dominicstrong moniker. And we've had a ton of support. First there was the Superhero Night thanks to the Medicine Hat Mavericks. Then a fundraiser with Five Guys Burgers and Fries. The first Dominicstrong Mini Golf Tournament was a great success, and of course our huge online auction brought in the bulk of our charity dollars again.

Combined, it all adds up to $27,132 (Canadian dollars, not the US dollar figure which is shown on the Extra Life website) raised for the Alberta Children's Hospital. All told in five years, our team has raised more than $125,000.

By the way, yes, I have a beard now and it's purple. I decided at the start of October to grow one out until we reached our goal of raising as much for the hospital as we did last year. Well, we didn't. I dyed it purple a couple days before the marathon just for fun, but secretly hoping we'd get to the goal. Apparently it'll take 40 shampoos before it's gone. Or my beard trimmer! Either way, it was another great year and we did come pretty close to that goal.

What's in store for next year? We have plenty of time to figure that out. For now, we just want to say thanks to everyone who donated or helped in any way. Thumbs up to all of you.

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