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'Play with Your Food': Board game charitable event overachieves in raising money for Carmichael Outreach

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Everyone loves a good board game night with friends. However, for a group of enthusiasts in Regina, it’s become so much more.

‘Play with Your Food’ (PwYF) a fundraising event in the Queen City, raised a record $42,575.02 for Carmichael Outreach.

“This is a significant amount of money,” Amanda Benesh, development coordinator for Carmichael Outreach said in a news release.

“It equates to 24,094 meals. It costs Carmichael approximately $11,812 a month to feed between 250-300 meals a day throughout the year.”

According to Tyler Gelsinger, operations manager with the organization, the funds raised can also help Carmichael’s milk program, which assists 1,400 families a year.

The 24-hour gaming marathon held at the University of Regina over the weekend was the finale of a year-long effort by competing teams to fundraise for community based organizations.

"We take the model of micro fundraising where lots of people gather to do what they find fun and engaging, and we monetize for very needy organizations at the same time," Matt Robertson, a coach with the event, told CTV News.

For participants, its work towards a good cause while also doing what they love.

"Events like these were shut down for a few years, and connecting face to face over a board game rather than maybe a video game or other ways is really needed to connect to people again, and meet new people," participant Rick Gorzalczynskai said.

Over the course of 2022, PwYF repeatedly exceeded its goal for fundraising.

The first goal was $15,000 in September. When that was reached, it was raised to $25,000.

When that record was smashed, the group decided the sky was the limit.

For Robertson, the event can be described as a win on two fronts.

“They do very important work in the community. So, if we can support them with their mission, we get to have fun,” he said.

“We get to win twice; win by playing games and enjoying the community of board players that gathered around in this lobby and additionally support some very worthwhile needs within our community."

During it eight year run, PwYF has raised more than $255,000 for charities in Regina.

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