Orangeville Citizen. April 29 2015.
The Orangeville GoGo Grannies, in partnership with KOROS Games, once again brought back their annual Games for Africa Fundraiser this past month.
The event, which was held on April 11, helps raise funds for a national campaign through the Stephen Lewis Foundation that supports orphans of AIDs victims in Africa.
“The campaign helps provide funds for caregivers who are supporting kids whose parents and family members have passed because of AIDs,” explained Grant Peters, one of the organizers. “It’s a support network that is all about helping the caregivers who look after the victims left behind, kids who don’t necessarily have family members to fill in after their parents are gone.”
The Games for Africa began as a scrabble competition years ago, but grew to include more types of games, and has become a popular event. Last year’s fundraiser brought in $1000, and this year, the campaign has been expanded to include more online engagement, including a Crowdfunding Campaign.
“The theme of this year is Dare, which is the name of the program through the Stephen Lewis foundation,” said Mr. Peters. “We are taking on that dare by encouraging participants to learn a new game. We’ve already generated about $300 in advance of the event through our crowdfunding.”
Although Mr. Peters wasn’t part of the group that originally developed the Games for Africa, after participating in one of the events a few years ago, he knew he needed to get on board.
“I approached the Chair and latched on with them to help organize and broaden the campaign,” he said. “The focus is to have this event to help organize and fundraise, and get the word out.”
He added that part of the problem with getting the word out is that, in the past, the community has not known much about the Orangeville GoGos and who they are. But this year, they have just come off a strong campaign at the Alton Mill, called Threads of Hope.
“The interest in the group, or at least the support and awareness for the group is really starting to grow,” said Mr. Peters. “People look forward to the Games for Africa every year, and have come to rely on it, to come out and just have a good time.”
KOROS Games helps provide the board games and run the event, which brings awareness from other areas as well, with their large customer base, specifically in the card and board game market. The event is open to all ages, and encourages everyone to come out and make a donation.
“This year’s Games for Africa event [coincided] with International Tabletop Day, and feature[d] open tables for playing a variety of board and card games, [which were] all provided,” said Mr. Peters. “There [were] also prizes, refreshments, a silent auction, bake sale, and an African marketplace.”
This year’s event also featured a special Magic: The Gathering component. Proceeds from the event will go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, supporting AIDS orphans and their caregiver grandmothers in Africa.
“Games for Africa was really successful again this year, and we had a really great turnout,” said Mr. Peters.
“We raised around $1200 through a combination of both online donations, as well as donations and the door and from our silent auction and bake sale. It was a full house, and everyone in attendance seemed very pleased with the event. It really was a lot of fun.”
Donations can still be made for the Games for Africa and the Orangeville GoGo’s team via their online campaign at http://slf.akaraisin.com/Dare/OrangevilleGoGo. The campaign will remain live until May 11.