Hannah Peters | Staff Writer
All-nighters and no sleep are a well-known staple of college life. This was no typical all-nighter though.
Last week, Duquesne’s Tabletop Society held a 24-hour livestream event lasting from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday. Hosted in the Africa Room, club members and friends gathered to play games of all kinds with the goal of raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
The event was supported through Extra Life, a fundraising program of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals that encourages and aids gamers around the world to hold 24-hour livestream events in support of their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.
Thanks to a camera fastened to the ceiling above a large table, the livestream was available through both Twitch and YouTube, where attendees had the chance to donate and watch the plethora of games being played from a bird’s eye view.
Over 50 games could be found scattered across the tables, ranging from card games like “Uno” to board games like “Settlers of Catan” to role-playing games like “Dungeons and Dragons.”
An events schedule was also created to spotlight specific games that would be played during the 24-hour event. “Magic: The Gathering Cube Draft” and “Big Uno” were just some of these highlighted events.
Free food was also provided courtesy of Parkhurst Dining; three meals and extra snacks were served to participants throughout the overnight fundraiser.
“It was an all-hands-on-deck situation, everyone really pulled overtime to make this happen. I’m shocked that it turned out the way it did, but I’m really glad about the way it did,” club president Sean Daniels said.
While attendees were not required to stay for the duration of the event, several members, including Daniels, committed to being there for the entire 24 hours. Utilizing the couches, floor and even table chairs, the space was littered with blankets, pillows, sleeping bags and an air mattress to make it something of an unusual and altruistic sleepover.
One such committed and sleep-deprived member, David Iuvara, a fifth year pharmaceutical student and club events coordinator, was the one to propose the idea of a live-stream fundraiser.
First introduced to the event as a high school freshman in 2015, Iuvara participated in several livestream fundraisers at his previous school, Saint Joseph’s Preparatory High School.
“I got to see the evolution of it at my high school — from 10 of us streaming in a classroom for 12 hours to getting to a whole floor of the school for a day. It was really cool seeing it evolve,” says Iuvara.
Surpassing the amount his high school was able to raise by over twice the amount, the Tabletop Society found an unexpected level of support for their cause.
To match the above average size of this year’s freshman class, their original fundraising goal was set to $1,700. However, before the event even began, they hit their goal.
After deciding to double it to $3,400, they were prompted to raise it again to $5,000, only to increase it once more to $7,500. By the end of the fundraiser, they had exceeded each one of their four different goals to finish with a total of $8,068.
“It took a lot of pestering people. We just kept being like ‘Hey we’re raising money. We’re doing something ridiculous so come help support us for children’s hospitals,’” says Iuvara.
As part of the Extra Life program, each participant can select a specific hospital to support. For some members, their choice of hospital was a personal one.
This was the case for senior occupational therapy student and Social Media Director, Jamie Keenan who personally raised $828 for her chosen hospital, Hershey Children’s Hospital.
“When I was born, I had a congenital heart defect that resulted in me needing experimental surgery and it was done at Hershey,” Keenan said. “So, I thought ‘Why not choose Hershey?’ I can play games and help the hospital that helped me.”
In total, 27 members of the society actively fundraised for the event. Brought together through the shared love of playing games, the community the club has built is what Iuvara claims has been his favorite part throughout the whole endeavor.
“The highlight for me has been seeing everyone get so excited over it,” Iuvara said. “Just seeing all these other nerds come together to help support a cause in, you know, one of the most ridiculous ways possible, it’s really really heartwarming.”