Over the past few months, many of you have come to know me more and what I do. I have consistently talked about this charity organization that I own and run called Gaming Gives. For this special edition of the HIVE I wanted to give you an insider look into this journey of mine and what exactly it entails.
First off, I have to give a little background. At my high school, we had a two week period where we had countless events that benefited Easter Seals Disability Services. My friends and I were all very involved in the planning and execution of this week. We became very close to many Easter Seals kids and families, learned valuable skills, and had a blast all at the same time. Like many good things, this had to come to an end when we graduated. We could no longer attend or participate in many of the events or spend our evenings planning. To fill this void, at the lunch table we decided to host video game tournaments during the summer. These tournaments would raise a couple hundred dollars and we would make the donation as a group. This group being called Gaming Gives.
Gaming Gives started in different parts of my friends’ houses. We would hold sign ups, post rules, and contact everyone we knew trying to get people out to our mini gaming events. Soon this became more than a hobby, but rather a second job. I would spend hours planning every detail, review rulesets, and marketing online. I became a master of working with gamers and catering to what they wanted. After two events, we decided as a group that we needed to take it another step further, launching to the public. Our first two events only had our friends in attendance, they were more of a gathering with a tournament on the side. During winter break of 2015 we had our first tournament that was targeted solely for competitive gamers. We live streamed the event, had commentators, conducted interviews, and raised the buy-in and payout. This event featured our first non-friend group competitor. This was the spark that started Gaming Gives.
That first year we raised around $550 for Easter Seals. My team and I were thrilled. We crushed our goal of a few hundred dollars. Now in our minds, we had to set a new goal. At the closing assembly for the Easter Seals campaign, in my speech in front of the media and around 1200 students, I made the impromptu decision to tell everyone that we were going to have $1000 for them next year. My team did not let me down. After this, we scheduled out a summer of amazing events, researched what competitive gamers wanted, and launched our website: www.gaminggives.org.
After an amazing summer of support and competitive play, the staff was ready to take on our biggest challenge yet. A high stakes Call of Duty tournament. We wanted to charge a lot to play and pay out a lot and boy did we pull it off. Eighty players from around the world came and played for the kids in December. It was a nerve wracking event for me as I had never spent so much money and taken such a huge risk with an event. This event featured a professionally produced live stream complete with professional commentators, 28 PS4 consoles, 24 gaming monitors, and countless other consoles that were used to entertain players in the down time. This event attracted players from Canada, New York, Oklahoma, and Florida. Players were pumped to play their favorite game for the kids and compete against other players from around the world.
I encourage any of you to come out to an event this summer. I would love to see you there and I promise a good time that also benefits the kids! Even if you just come to hangout and watch, we ensure you will have a blast! Below is our upcoming summer schedule:
Super Smash Bros for Wii U – May 27th
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – June 3rd and 4th
Sports Day (FIFA , MADDEN, 2K) – June 17th
MAGIC & Yu-Gi-Oh Event – June 18th
Mini Golf Outing (pending) – July 1st
Wiffleball Tournament (pending) – July 8th
By Evan Furniss
Where is this Ambrose crest stamped on campus? Hint: it’s on the SOUTH side of campus! E-mail your guess to Brooke Neumann to win a $10 gift card!