By: Ashley Quirke
Friendship, teamwork, and a great cause. Three things that, in my mind, embody Sandbox Gaming’s 10th charity marathon perfectly.
For this marathon, the charity we chose to support was Easter Seals Newfoundland and Labrador and they were nice enough to let us host the marathon in their building. When I arrived at Easter Seals early Friday morning, I didn’t really know what to expect. The previous marathon, my first marathon as a member, was held during MUN’s final exams last winter so I wasn’t able to participate as much as I would have liked. This time around, myself and a few others planned to stay at Easter Seals the entire weekend in order to be there to help as much as possible. I want to give a big thank you to the people at Easter Seals NL; they went out of their way to make our team feel welcome. Not once did I feel like I wasn’t wanted or appreciated there. It seems to be a really happy place to be.
So when we arrived, we set up anything necessary and were ready to start. I watched part of the first game in the computer room, but eventually retired to the nap room to calm my nerves. My game was up next. I had never played a game for the marathon before, so I was super nervous. Everyone there was so supportive of me. Before I knew it, I was up, and I wasn’t even that nervous anymore. I had a whole team of really great people behind me, supporting me. I felt a great sense of belonging that carried me through my game with ease.
Throughout the weekend, I saw many examples of the members of Sandbox Gaming coming together to work on something great. Whether it was teaming up to tackle a technical problem, working together to make supper for volunteers who were hungry but otherwise occupied, or even just popping by for a visit to support those of us who were at Easter Seals all weekend. Every little bit helped.
It wasn’t all work though (though even the work parts were very fun and rewarding). At one point, a group of us found a large parachute in the gym and played games with it. Another night we had a few games of bocce ball. I believe these games served as team building experiences, and brought us even closer together. They were a lot of fun!
We’re a small group of people, a lot of us from the small island of Newfoundland, taking a weekend out of our lives to do something we all care very deeply about. We may be small, but we are growing every day. We are making a really big difference in the lives of the kids at Easter Seals and other organizations that we have done the marathons for! And that to me, is what our marathons are all about. I joined Sandbox to play games and volunteer. I wasn’t expecting such a fun and rewarding experience. I’m already looking forward to our next marathon and to raise more money for great organizations like Easter Seals NL.