This past summer, Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members Matt Fenlon ’16 and Jainesh Patel ’14 heard about the “Extra Life” gaming fundraiser, which began in 2008 as a way of honoring a young woman who battled acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Today, it is an online grassroots movement working to save local kids through the power of play. The pair “immediately thought it would be a great fit for the Rensselaer campus because of the huge gaming presence,” they said.
From Saturday, Nov. 2 to Sunday, Nov. 3, members of the campus community participated in a 25-hour event that featured fun and games for everyone. TVs, video game consoles, board games, and indoor sports were some of the activities planned for the weekend.
“The primary goal for this event was to start up a new campuswide charity fundraiser similar to Relay for Life, something that would get everyone involved and bring the campus together for a common cause,” said Patel, a junior majoring in biology and pre-med. “Matt and I learned about Extra Life when we attended our fraternity’s annual leadership school, and we saw a lot of potential to make an effort to bring it to RPI. Over time, we envision that the event will gain more support and interest from the entire campus community.”
The event started off in the Alumni Sports and Recreation Center Robison Gym. Activity options included indoor soccer, basketball, and dodgeball. Later in the evening, the event shifted to Mother’s in the Rensselaer Union, as well as the Games Room. Patel and Fenlon had assistance from fellow fraternity member Stephen Silber to coordinate the series of events.
The group raised more than $2,000. All proceeds go to designated Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The event organizers plan to submit the donated funds to the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center.
“In planning the event, we didn’t want it to be only a Greek organizations event, so we took a different approach and decided to host the event as its own thing,” Patel added. “We’re also working to create an Extra Life club as a way to get more people involved and allow the event to be passed down and continue in years to come.”