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Extra Life Charity Auction

 A program of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

Have you heard of Extra Life? 

Extra Life is a community of gamers (of all types - tabletop, video, role-playing, etc.) that have a shared mission of raising money to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.   The community has been around since 2008 and every year the number of participants grows.  George Jaros, from GJJ Games, has been a part of this community since 2016 and organizes the largest known tabletop game auction in the world for Extra Life at https://CharityAuction.bid/2021ExtraLife-GJJGames 

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What exactly is Extra Life?  And how did it start?

At 11 years old, young Victoria "Tori" Enmon was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  Over the next four years, she fought her cancer multiple times.  During her many hospital stays she was a shining light, visiting with other sick children, and spreading joy.  In 2005 Texas Children's Hospital held their first Radiothon to raise funds for treating childhood cancer.  They partnered with the Children's Miracle Network and the Sarcastic Gamer video game community.  That's when Jeromy "Doc" Adams met Tori.  After several years of treatments, including chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants, and two relapses, Tori was faced with an extended stay in the hospital for several months.  During this stay, Doc asked Tori if she liked video games.  When she said "yes", Doc reached out to the Sarcastic Gamer community.

Victoria Enmon

What was expected to be a few video games donated turned out to be hundreds of games sent in from all around the world!  So many games came in that Tori began giving them away to other kids that were in the hospital with her.  In 2008 Tori lost her battle with leukemia, but her legacy lives on.  The year 2008 marked the first official Extra Life fundraiser, during which 1200 gamers raised over $110,000 for Texas Children's Cancer Center.  By 2010, Extra Life was raising funds for all Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and in 2011 over $1.1 million was raised for 175 children's hospitals around the world.  In 2020 Extra Life had grown to over 100,000 participants, playing games of all sorts, and raised over $87 million.

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Tell me more about this auction!

In 2015, There's Fun In Store in DeKalb, IL (back then The Gaming Goat) worked with a local Magic: the Gathering player to organize a local fundraising event for Extra Life.  In 2016 George Jaros from GJJ Games organized the second event, a 24-hour board game marathon, which turned into a 48-hour marathon when the organizer for the previous year's event scheduled his event for the next day! 

Since 2016, George has continued to host a 24-hour gaming marathon each year, however, the funds raised at this event have been eclipsed by what has become the main fundraising event each year. 

The Extra Life Charity Auction began in 2015 as a way for local gamers to auction off some used games while earning some store credit to buy some new games.  They would receive 100% of the amount their games sold for in-store credit and 20% would go to charity, with There's Fun in Store covering that 20% from their profits.  In 2016 GJJ Games participated in the auction, and in 2017 GJJ Games took over the coordination of the auction.  2017 was also the first year industry companies helped sponsor the event.  In 2017 four sponsors and a handful of local gamers raised a few hundred dollars.  In 2020 there were 45 sponsors and over $3950 was raised.  This year there are already 71 sponsors and hundreds of items loaded onto the auction website with hundreds more still on their way. 

You can see all the amazing donations, and even register as a bidder to start your wishlist (just click the star at the top of any listing) at https://CharityAuction.bid/2021ExtraLife-GJJGames  The auction starts on Friday, November 5, 2021, at 7 pm and will run through Friday, November 12, 2021, at 10 pm (all times are Central).

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I want to help out, what can I do?

If you would like to help out, there are plenty of ways to show your support.  Donations will be accepted for the auction until the end of October.  Publishers, content creators, game designers, and anyone who donates will be highlighted in all the event promotions.  You can also help out by sharing the auction with your friends and social media connections.  GJJ Games is also looking for help with promoting the event, reaching out to other potential sponsors, and, if you’re in the northern Illinois area, help with shipping and fulfillment when the auction closes.  It’s not too late to be part of this amazing event.  Just reach out to George at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and he’d be delighted to work with you.

You can also donate directly to Extra Life at https://www.extra-life.org/participant/GJJGames or visit https://www.extra-life.org to start your own fundraiser.

Whether you’ve been a participant in the fundraiser for years, or if you’ve just heard about it for the first time, the 2021 Extra Life Charity Auction is a great way to both help out sick kids and add some awesome games, accessories, promos, and more to your collection.   You get cool stuff, and sick kids get the treatment and support they need.  Visit https://CharityAuction.bid/2021ExtraLife-GJJGames to learn more!

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