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SpaceGhost2K

Bakersfield is Alive and Kicking

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Hello to all that follow the Bakersfield Guild Forum. I wanted to give some updates since it's been really quiet in here, as well as an explanation.

 

While Bakersfield continues to meet the requirements for being recognized as a guild (75 people raising $75 or more), I don't believe that we are still considered a guild. Bakersfield does things differently than a lot of other cities, which l will explain a little further down. The immediate Bakersfield area has a population of 368k. The whole county only has 874k, and there's only one other city with over 50k people. Our hospital is also super-small. The Lauren Small Children's Center at Dignity Memorial Hospital in Bakersfield is the only CMN hospital in Kern County. At the time it opened, it had 20 beds. It now has 35. It is not a stand-alone hospital like most. While the LSCC opened in 2012, Memorial Hospital has been a CMN hospital for 26 years.

 

When the national Extra Life program wants to increase fundraising, it stresses increasing recruitment. Our first year as a guild, we jumped from recruiting 400 people online to 1,100 people online. Out of that additional 700 recruits we got - zilch. 700 people didn't raise a dime. Our theory was that is we signed them up like EL suggested, the EL messaging would motivate them. It didn't work out that way, for us anyway. It's obviously been successful elsewhere.

 

So here's what we do that is different from most other cities. In 2012, the Campus Gamers club at Cal State Bakersfield wanted to participate in EL. Since most of our members were participating, it didn't make sense to do it separately, so we did a group event. We brought all of our stuff to the university, and anyone that raised or donated at least $20 could join us for a 12-hour gaming party. We raised $4,300, and our university was recognized by our hospital as "Corporate Partner of the Year." The next year, we raised $10,000. Then $21,000. Then $30,000. Last year, we raised $35,000. In 2016 when we raised $30,000, $26,500 of that was raised through the direct efforts of our own people. Only $3,500 of that came from "somewhere else." In other words, had we NOT held the group event, Bakersfield would have raised probably $5,000 instead of $30,000. In a nutshell, it comes down to this: Our event is big enough that every person in Kern County that wants to support Extra Life can participate in our event, regardless of any other things they might want to do.

 

Prizes are donated by local businesses and game companies that are used to drive fundraising. Every $10 a person raises gets them a drawing ticket. AND, if they raise $100, they get into a separate drawing for a new console. We had 77 people raise $100 or more last year.

 

Last year, some decisions were made to help us grow those numbers.

 

First, we made our gaming equipment available, free of charge, to any local high school or community college that wanted to have its own Extra Life event.

 

Second, since Extra Life doesn't really do "the event thing", we are steering our main event away from the idea of it being "Extra Life", and we're rebooting it as a thing called "RowdyCon." Rowdy is our school mascot, the RoadRunner. RowdyCon includes 25 themed game rooms, student club activities, a vendor expo, a stage area for panels, a cosplay contest, a maid cafe and more. All money raised goes to the hospital through "Extra Life." RowdyCon '18 will be Saturday, October 6th. There is a lot going on around the first of November so we opted to steer clear of that date and move the event forward.

 

Third, we decided to hold a more traditional Extra Life event on "Extra Life Day." We're calling it the "Extra Life 24-Hour VIP Marathon." It's 24 hours long, it's at a person's home, only 50 people can attend, and they don't raise funds - they purchase a ticket for $100 through Evenbrite, with all proceeds going to Extra Life. It's "VIP" because we will provide a modest breakfast, lunch, midnight snack and breakfast the following day, but dinner will be a seven course meal. This $100 is on top of whatever funds they raised through Extra Life that goes through the Extra Life fundraising pages or from RowdyCon.

 

We are continuing to hold Extra Life events at other schools, as well. We also have people that raise money all year doing Twitch streaming or asking for donations at our local movie theater, Maya Cinemas. We've raised a total of $132,000 since 2012, with $32,000 of that coming last year. We are hoping to raise $50,000 this year as RowdyCon grows and as we add more local schools.

 

We don't have the VIP Marathon information ready to go yet, but you can read more about RowdyCon at www.rowdycon.com, which will be updated as the year goes along.

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Hey @SpaceGhost2K!

 

Thanks for giving us an update! It's great to see the hard work you've done to support your local Children's Miracle Network Hospital. It's been a bit since we've chatted so I'm glad you've made this post to share your goings-on! 

 

3 hours ago, SpaceGhost2K said:

 

While Bakersfield continues to meet the requirements for being recognized as a guild (75 people raising $75 or more), I don't believe that we are still considered a guild. Bakersfield does things differently than a lot of other cities, which l will explain a little further down.

 

Bakersfield's Guild status definitely open for discussion, though there are changes to the program in 2018. I haven't forgotten to share this with Bakersfield (there is an email thread, I know!) as we are rolling things out this year. If you're still interested in hearing about it, we should have a preview of things to come later this month. We'd always love you join us on the official Discord too. You're definitely welcome to join our bi-monthly chats and if you're willing or interested and I'm happy to add your email to our Guild Leader Newsletter, if you're not already.

 

3 hours ago, SpaceGhost2K said:

When the national Extra Life program wants to increase fundraising, it stresses increasing recruitment. Our first year as a guild, we jumped from recruiting 400 people online to 1,100 people online. Out of that additional 700 recruits we got - zilch. 700 people didn't raise a dime. Our theory was that is we signed them up like EL suggested, the EL messaging would motivate them. It didn't work out that way, for us anyway. It's obviously been successful elsewhere.

 

 

That's older rhetoric that we really haven't subscribed to for about two years or so, which has prompted new best practices and the revision of the Extra Life Guild program too! Focusing solely on recruitment was a hallmark when the Guild Program began, and it's obvious that it's time for a change (probably for sometime now)! We're looking forward to a more sustainable and flexible program based on the feedback we've received from our Guilds, and it's feedback that we take to heart. I'm glad to see that you've found success in other creative and exciting avenues, and it inspires and informs us to other possibilities, so thank you! 

 

3 hours ago, SpaceGhost2K said:

So here's what we do that is different from most other cities. In 2012, the Campus Gamers club at Cal State Bakersfield wanted to participate in EL. Since most of our members were participating, it didn't make sense to do it separately, so we did a group event. We brought all of our stuff to the university, and anyone that raised or donated at least $20 could join us for a 12-hour gaming party. We raised $4,300, and our university was recognized by our hospital as "Corporate Partner of the Year." The next year, we raised $10,000. Then $21,000. Then $30,000. Last year, we raised $35,000. In 2016 when we raised $30,000, $26,500 of that was raised through the direct efforts of our own people. Only $3,500 of that came from "somewhere else." In other words, had we NOT held the group event, Bakersfield would have raised probably $5,000 instead of $30,000. In a nutshell, it comes down to this: Our event is big enough that every person in Kern County that wants to support Extra Life can participate in our event, regardless of any other things they might want to do.

 

 

This is a tremendous effort! Amazing, ambitious work that has obviously affected your community and hospital. 

 

3 hours ago, SpaceGhost2K said:

 

First, we made our gaming equipment available, free of charge, to any local high school or community college that wanted to have its own Extra Life event.

 

 

I absolutely love this, great idea to engage your community, making it easy for them to participate. 

 

3 hours ago, SpaceGhost2K said:

 

Second, since Extra Life doesn't really do "the event thing"

 

 

This is dated rhetoric that is changing thankfully. 

 

4 hours ago, SpaceGhost2K said:

 

Third, we decided to hold a more traditional Extra Life event on "Extra Life Day." We're calling it the "Extra Life 24-Hour VIP Marathon." It's 24 hours long, it's at a person's home, only 50 people can attend, and they don't raise funds - they purchase a ticket for $100 through Evenbrite, with all proceeds going to Extra Life. It's "VIP" because we will provide a modest breakfast, lunch, midnight snack and breakfast the following day, but dinner will be a seven course meal. This $100 is on top of whatever funds they raised through Extra Life that goes through the Extra Life fundraising pages or from RowdyCon.

 

We are continuing to hold Extra Life events at other schools, as well. We also have people that raise money all year doing Twitch streaming or asking for donations at our local movie theater, Maya Cinemas. We've raised a total of $132,000 since 2012, with $32,000 of that coming last year. We are hoping to raise $50,000 this year as RowdyCon grows and as we add more local schools.

 

We don't have the VIP Marathon information ready to go yet, but you can read more about RowdyCon at www.rowdycon.com, which will be updated as the year goes along.

 

These are additional, innovative and exciting ways to support Extra Life and your hospital. 
 

If it hasn't been said before are thank you for your efforts for Extra Life. It's obvious that there is no stopping Bakersfield, and for that I'm grateful! Once we roll-out the revision of the Guild program we'd love for you to take a look and if it feels like something you would like to be a part of, then I see no reason why we wouldn't want you to participate. Otherwise it's obvious you have a good thing going with your group and LSCC is lucky to have you. 

 

If you need anything or have any questions, let me know!

 

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