Gamers gear up for another marathon

Twelve Kelowna kids will take turns playing a variety of video games from Monday, Dec. 19 until Friday, Dec. 23, to raise money for charity.

After the success of a first video game marathon in early September, Geoff Webb and his friends are getting their thumbs ready for another 96 hours of strategic button pressing.

The 12 Kelowna kids will take turns playing a variety of video games from Monday, Dec. 19 until Friday, Dec. 23.

The group has chosen Villages of Hope and Heart as their charity of choice this time around. The Kelowna-based non-profit organization is dedicated to the health and education of women and children in northeast Ghana.

According to Webb, the goal of the fundraising event is $5,000 to help fund the development of a soccer field, sanitary facilities and full uniforms for over 300 residents of the Bolgatanga area.

The first marathon event—held by Webb and three of his friends—raised nearly $2,300 for the Kelowna General Hospital’s Adolescent Psychiatric Unit.

“The first one was a real success,” said Webb.

“The four of us were able to gloat about how we raised $2,300. All my friends wanted to be a part of this one too.”

Webb said that the money allowed them to purchase noise-reducing headphones, a Nintendo Wii, a TV, controllers and some new games for the youth who stay in the psychiatric unit. They also have reserve money in an emergency fund in case any equipment breaks.

This time around, Webb is hoping to double the funds raised in order to help people in another country.

“If we can raise $5,000 by Christmas, that would be one huge step towards accomplishing the goal that we have.”

Webb said that the popularity of soccer in Ghana is what inspired him and his friends to choose this particular charitable cause.

“It’s not just about teaching them soccer, it’s about teaching them life skills as well.”

Like the first event, the Kelowna crew will broadcast the entire video game marathon online at www.ustream.tv/gaming-for-ghana.

Webb admitted that they are setting the fundraising bar high; however, he is optimistic that more people will be drawn to the event this time around.

“More people are going to watch this time because we’ve become a Ustream featured page. I expect hundreds of people to be watching us at any one time.”

Having done this event in the past, Webb said the gaming crew will be more prepared for the late night gaming sessions, which were tough to get through in the first marathon.

“We will make sure there’s always a back-up for the night shift; there has to be someone making sure there’s no one asleep at the wheel.”

Donations can be made by visiting http://teambrocketforchildsplay.chipin.com/villages-of-hope, or www.ustream.tv/gaming-for-ghana and clicking on the chip-in button.

For more information, e-mail Webb at ge-offwebb@hotmail.com.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

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