Fourth Annual Mario Marathon Raising Thousands for Children's Hospitals Worldwide

Jun 18th 2011
LAFAYETTE, INDIANA - June 13, 2011 - On Friday, June 24, gamers in Lafayette, Indiana will host the fourth annual Mario Marathon fundraiser for Child's Play Charity. Since 2008, the group has raised over $125,000 for Child's Play. The charity provides games, books and toys to a network of over 70 children's hospitals worldwide.

Mario Marathon is a multi-day charity drive broadcast live online. The event starts with a group of gamers attempting to complete a list of levels from Nintendo's popular series of Super Mario video games. Viewers of the show add levels to the players. queue by making donations to Child's Play. This continues until all of the levels are conquered or the donations stop. The 2010 event clocked in at a whopping 108 hours and featured celebrity call ins, sing-a-longs, contests and raffles. Throughout the show, viewers connect with the team through the event's website and social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

"The support we've seen this year is unreal," says Brian Brinegar, Event Coordinator. "We've received contributions of prizes including games, original artwork, and thousands of dollars in donations." Donations are pouring in at triple the rate of previous years. With two weeks until the official start, the event's website has registered over $6,000. When asked what draws viewers to the event, Brinegar says, "Gamers share this common childhood experience playing Mario. The marathon lets us recreate that experience and leverage Child's Play to share it with thousands of kids who are spending part of their childhood in a hospital."

The Child's Play Charity (www.childsplaycharity.org) is a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in a network of hospitals worldwide. Since its inception in 2003, the charity has distributed over $7 million worth of toys, games, books, and cash. "We rely heavily on community run initiatives such as Mario Marathon." says Kristin Lindsay, with Child's Play, "These fundraising events represent our greatest strength: the generosity and determination of gamers."

This year, members of the group volunteered at Riley Hospital for Children, Child.s Play.s Indianapolis partner hospital, to see the impact of their efforts first hand. Watch the event live on the web at www.mariomarathon.com beginning June 24th at 11 AM EDT.

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