Even as Cascadian rivals Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers attempt to move up the standings past each other, 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. Since that first event the team has raised over $465,000 and in 2023 hope to raise over $50,000 for the cause. Each gamer involved raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital of their choice. (That means Seattle Children’s Hospital locally in Seattle.) Then on Extra Life Game Day, Nov. 4, everyone involved dedicates 25 hours (25 due to daylight savings time) to game and raise money, offering a multitude of raffle prizes in exchange for certain donation levels. Prizes have ranged from gaming consoles to autographed team jerseys and other memorabilia.
In years past, a large portion of the group met 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. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raise funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care. The movement, formed by gamers bonded by passion, is committed to saving and improving the lives of local kids. Since 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $100 million for member hospitals.
My involvement in Extra Life and the Cascadian Gamers began over 8 seasons ago. 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 firstborn who is on the Autism Spectrum and has ADHD has needed a lot of services in the past that might be harder to come by if not for a program such as Seattle 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 Cascadia teams to the north and south – I will game for 25 hours. All for the children.
Extra Life 2023 Details
Game Day: 12 noon November 4 - 12 noon November 5
2023 goal: $50,000
A $10 ticket will enter you for a chance at some amazing prizes such as game consoles and other one-of-a-kind items (typically “to be announced” as we get closer to the day of the event.) You can also check out all the cool incentive prizes that Cascadian Gamers team members will be raffling off (All soccer-related prizes will be incentive prizes this year from individual participants for ease of making sure only people who want them are winning them.) If prizes aren’t your thing then cash donations are always welcome.
To donate: Visit the Cascadian Gamers Extra Life team page and select the participating team member you wish to support. You can choose to donate for raffle tickets through one person or many.
If you want to support my individual Extra Life goal - we will become friends who ride majestic, translucent steeds, shooting flaming arrows across the bridge of Hemdale.
Cascadian Gamers on Extra Life: 2023 event page
Cascadian Gamers on BlueSky: @cascadiangamers.bsky.social
Cascadian Gamers on Twitch: https://go.twitch.tv/cascadiangamers