Gaming event raises money for local children’s hospitals

Dozens of people of all ages participated in a 24-hour gaming marathon to raise money for local children’s hospitals. Lee DePiro is a 32-year-old paramedic in Altoona and one of the organizers of the gaming marathon at Catalyst Space on 12th Avenue.

“Through my job and seeing the kids, we transport a lot of kids from Altoona to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh,” he said. “That’s what motivated me to do this.”

DePiro and other members of the Gearbox Union, a community of local gamers, played games from midnight Friday through midnight Saturday.

Computer games, console games, board games and virtual reality games were set up for anyone who wanted to play.

The local event was part of a international effort called Extra Life 24 Hour Gaming Marathon.

The Altoona team hoped to raise $10,000 in the marathon.

Members of the team collected donations from friends and family through the Gearbox Union website. Members collected money for a local hospital of their choice.

DePiro said local sponsors included Atlantic Broadband, the Catalyst Space, Snake Eyes Gaming and Greenbean Coffee House.

DePiro said the event has been held annually for the past five years, and about $30,000 has been raised.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.