By Monica Busch, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Westborough High School's (WHS) Student Council hosted a video game marathon Oct. 20 with all proceeds going to the Boston Children's Hospital. The gaming marathon was a nation-wide event organized through the charity organization Extra Life, which uses video games to collect donations for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
Participants of all ages were asked for a small donation and then played a variety of 25 games on 10 different televisions until the event ended at 4 p.m. Student Council members sold homemade baked goods and provided drinks.
Elicia Basoli and Monty Sharma, who have both worked in the video game industry for more than 30 cumulative years and are steering committee members for the Boston chapter of Extra Life, led the event. The two convened and then brought the proposal to Sharma's daughter, Maggie, who is the president of WHS's Student Council.
The council decided to take the project on as one of its community service events. Council members Erin McCarthy and Joey Bernatchez were selected as chairs. They then began collecting volunteers to lend their video games and gaming systems. TVs were borrowed from clubs within the high school.
Bernatchez helped young Ryan Breslau play a baseball game with his dad, Mike.
“I play video games on my own,” Bernatchez said, “and it's a cool idea to connect with the younger generation for a good cause.”
Saturday was the first time WHS has hosted an Extra Life event, but Maggie said that it played out exactly as they had hoped.
Extra Life marathons took place across the country Saturday, with all donations going directly to the corresponding hospital.
“Each state has a hospital in the Children's Miracle Network,” said organizer Elica Basoli, “In this case, it's the Boston Children's Hospital.”
The event also boasted a raffle drawing at the end, with the winner receiving a video game studio tour in Boston.