By Dan Rankin
If you stop by GameSpace for its grand opening Saturday, Nov. 7, don’t be fooled by the sounds of laughter, joking and fun – there is serious work going on. Scott and Niki Sumpter, owners of the new video & board game store and gaming space opening up at 114 Queen Street East downtown in St. Marys next week, will be taking part in the “Extra Life Marathon,” which supports Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across North America. Essentially, they and their friends will be accepting pledge donations to play games for 24 hours straight, with 12 of those hours (10:00 am to 10:00 pm Saturday) being at the store. Like I said: serious work.
“It will be our second year taking part and some of our friends are in their third year,” Niki said. “Last year the marathon raised about $6 million for all of the different kid’s hospitals.”
As participants, Niki and Scott’s team are able to specify which hospital they want their donations to go towards. “Our hospital is the London Children’s Hospital,” Niki said, adding their team of four has set a goal to raise $2,000. “The money all stays within the local area. It goes for everything from parent support to research to all of their outlaying programs to supporting the kids.”
Donations can be made online, by visiting Extra-Life.org, searching “GameSpace” and donating to Niki or one of her teammates, or in person at GameSpace during the marathon on Nov. 7. Folks who stop by are invited to stay as long as they’d like and play along.
At their new store, Niki and Scott hope to offer a wide range of video games, new and used, from current generation and retro consoles, as well as board games that go beyond “your typical Monopoly-type games,” Niki said.
“We will have some of the more classic board games, but that won’t be our thrust,” Scott said. “We’re trying to avoid being a toy store, and be more of a gaming store.”
That includes a space at the back of the store with tables and TV sets for “in-house gaming,” Niki said.
In the space, they’ll hold regular weekly gaming events, and then, every few months, big board game or trading card game tournaments.