Gamers Outreach Foundation founder Zach Wigal and the gang at Gamers Outreach Foundation is hosting its third annual Gamers For Giving 2010 Video Game Competition May 1, 2010, to benefit charities and the foundation’s initiatives at the Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Through Gamers for Giving, Gamers Outreach Foundation aims to generate additional funding to fuel the GO-Kart (Gamers Outreach Kart) initiative with up to $15,000 to complete additional GO-Karts for Mott Children’s Hospital and hopes to raise $30,000.00 overall to support its work throughout the course of the year.
I had a chance to talk to Wigal about the upcoming event and to explain the GO-Kart and Fun For Our Troops initiatives.
Wigal explained the new GO-Kart initiative has already received positive feedback from Mott Children’s Hospital where the project is taking place. The carts are portable kiosks (pictured right) that can be rolled into a patient’s room to bring entertainment to those confined to their rooms. It’s compact enough that it doesn’t get in the way of nurses checking up on their patients and can be easily removed to provide more space or moved from room to room.
“We just donated our very first GO-Kart to a hospital in Michigan called Mott Children’s Hospital. There are so many kids in the hospital who play video games and we constantly hear stories from the staff about how the cart has made a positive difference for kids who have a limited amount of access to activities outside their rooms,” Wigal said. “Right now, Mott Children’s Hospital only has one cart. We’re hoping that the profits from Gamers For Giving will be able to help us deliver more carts to Mott as well as new hospitals over the course of the year.”
The remaining profits, according to Wigal, will be used to fund the Fun For Our Troops initiative which provides video game care packages to US soldiers serving overseas.
“Supporting the troops overseas has always been something we’ve been interested in doing internally at Gamers Outreach. Nearly a year ago, we met up with a woman named Stefanie Shea, who had started a really cool grass-roots initiative called Fun For Our Troops,” He explained. “Stefanie’s husband serves in the military and was getting ready to leave for his 2nd tour to Iraq. She wanted to do something special for the guys overseas, so she started sending them video game care-packages. It was an effort that was fully supported via public donations.”
In an effort to help Shea provide entertainment to the military men and women serving overseas, Wigal said the two organizations merged into one organization to raise funds for the Fun For Our Troops initiatives. The Gamers Outreach Foundation is a non-profit organization that develops services which use video games in ways that improve the lives of others and provides the funds for donations, charities and projects through gaming competitions.
“Each year, our organization hosts a non-profit competitive gaming event called Gamers for Giving,” He said. “It’s an event that features video game tournaments, special industry guests and a variety of video game activities for event participants all packed into a high-energy, social environment. Some of our sponsors include Astro Gaming, Red Bull, Gunnar Optiks and Kiaeneto. Aside from the gaming festivities, the event also offers us a great opportunity to discuss our work with our supporters, as well as people who aren’t familiar with our organization. The profits from the event are used to help fund Gamers Outreach initiatives.”
Those living in Michigan or within traveling distance to Michigan are welcome to participate in the May 1, 2010 event which starts at 10 a.m. and ends 9 p.m. at Briarwood Mall.
The headline activities will include a 2 vs 2 Halo 3 Tournament, a 4 vs 4 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Tournament and a variety of other competitions.
There are also free play gaming areas for spectators to explore and enjoy. Registration is required to participate in the tournaments, for requirements and to register visit the GamersForGiving website listed below. For location or direction to Briarwood Mall, Ann Arbor, Mich., visit the Mall’s website listed below.
Image Source: Photos courtesy of Zach Wigal, Gamers Outreach Foundation