UPDATE: Extra Life 2020 is Nov. 7-8. This year’s Cascadian Gamers team will be 100% virtual due to (gestures wildly) ‘all this.’ On top of our annual prize raffle, the team has an added a virtual auction site - see information below for details.
Even as Cascadian rivals Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers attempt to move past each other in the MLS Cup playoffs, supporters of each club are showing that they can unite away from the banter to do some good in their communities.
Perhaps enemies on match day but friends away from the pitch, the Cascadian Gamers group is the combination of supporters from each of the Pacific Northwest teams. Originally starting in 2014 with just a handful of friends, the group’s ranks have grown and the fundraising goal gets larger and since starting the team has raised over $240,000 with the goal of $50,000 in 2019 event being smashed. Each gamer involved raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital of their choice. (That means Seattle Children’s Hospital locally.) Then on Extra Life Game Day, Nov. 7, everyone involved dedicates 24 hours (25 hours if you’re really into it) to game and raise money, offering a multitude of raffle prizes in exchange for certain donation levels. Prizes this year include autographed items from each of the three teams.
A large portion of the group meets up in Seattle to game together while other members game and stream games from all over Cascadia. As exhausting as it sounds, raising money “for the children” makes it all worthwhile.
What is Extra Life?
Extra Life is a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals fundraising program within the gaming community. Participants fundraise year-round and pledge to game for 24 hours with one goal: to save and improve the lives of sick and injured kids. Funds raised stay local to help pediatric patients at 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across North America. Since 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $70 million for member hospitals. The movement, formed by gamers bonded by passion, is committed to saving and improving the lives of local kids.
My involvement in Extra Life and the Cascadian Gamers began last season. As a Sounders fan, an avid gamer, and someone who tries to raise charity funds every season, Extra Life seemed like a no-brainer for me. Being able to fundraise for Seattle Children’s Hospital hits home personally for me: my son - who is on the Autism Spectrum and is ADHD - needs a lot of services that might be harder to come by if not for a program such as Children’s Autism Center. My family and many others rely on such services, so it just feels right to help out in whatever manner I can.
So along with my friends - some who root for those evil Cascadia teams to the north and south - I will game for 25 hours. All for the children.
Extra Life 2020
Game Day: Nov. 7th-8th
Cascadian Gamers 2020 current goal (as of Nov 6, 2020): $50,000
$10 donations are entered into the game day raffle with lots of Sounders-related prizes as well as things like an Xbox Series X, PS5, Switch Light and bacon. Yes, homemade bacon.
NEW for 2020: An auction with even sweeter Sounders swag and yes, bacon. Visit https://www.32auctions.com/CGEL2020 to see what is available to bid on.
To donate you can visit The Cascadian Gamers team page and choose someone on the team roster to support. If you want to support my individual goal - we will become friends who ride majestic, translucent steeds, shooting flaming arrows across the bridge of Hemdale.
Cascadian Gamers twitter: @CascadianGamers
Cascadian Gamers Twitch Stream: https://go.twitch.tv/cascadiangamers