Local gamers unite for fundraising marathon benefiting Texas Children’s Hospital

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Play games, heal kids: that's the motto for the Extra Life Gaming Marathon.

It’s a 24-hour gaming event to raise money for charity. People around the country will put up livestreams as a way to bring in donations for the Children’s Miracle Network. CW39 Houston director Scotty Thornton has participated for the last four years.

“When I first heard about it, I just thought it was a great idea to do something I love, video games, and do something helpful,” Thornton said.

A straight 24 hours is a long time to play, but Scotty says it’s worth it. This year, he’s adding a team member.

“My son, Gabe, he’s going to be joining me,” Scotty said. “We like to play video games together, it’s a great way to spend time with each other.”

Even better, that quality time helps children’s hospitals all over the country, including Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

According to Jennifer Smart, the manager for the Children’s Miracle Network at TCH, the money comes in as unrestricted funds for the hospital to use where it is most needed.

“A lot of it goes towards charity care for families that don’t have insurance or their insurance has maxed out,” Smart said. “It can purchase a piece of equipment that’s not budgeted.”

Ryan Massey, the Children’s Miracle Network specialist for TCH, says the fun really adds up.

“Since Extra Life started in 2008, nationally we’ve raised over $50 million at Texas Children’s. In 2018, we raised probably about $100,000,” Massey said.

Don’t worry if video games aren’t your thing, there are plenty of ways to play a part.

“You can also play tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons, stuff like that,” Scotty said. “Me and my son love playing Pokemon, so we’ll probably bust out some cards at some point.”

This year, TCH wants to take the fun-raising to a new level, hoping to raise $150,000.

Gamers will be streaming on Twitch, YouTube and other platforms. You can donate on their pages.

There’s still time to register and you can choose to benefit the Texas Children’s Hospital when you sign up. There’s even an event Nov. 2 at TCH if you want to play with other Houstonians. You can find more details on the hospital’s Facebook page.

If you want to support Scotty and Gabe, find them under “Gabe and Bebo” on YouTube.

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