Red Level employee Matthew Hagon and his friends Joe Perri and Josh Bohnard like to play board games- a lot. Two and a half years ago, they began channeling their passion towards a great cause: Helping sick children.
The three founded an organization called “Down The Vent” and began hosting semi-annual all-day table game events to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network, a nonprofit organization which supports children’s hospitals nationwide. For a few dollars, participants of all ages are invited to try their hand at any of the 200 table games in an all-day gaming marathon, with all profits going to Children’s Miracle Network.
Typically, over 100 people come together in a local high school library to try new games, support the cause, and have a lot of fun in the process. Hagon and Perri emphasize the relaxed family-friendly nature of the event, with participants ranging in the age from 3 years and up. “We encourage new people to come. We’ll teach you and find a board game that fits you,” Hagon says.
Perri is quick to offer encouragement. “Between the three of us we can tell you how to play any of the games, ” he says. “We spend most of the day showing people how to play new games they haven’t played before.”
Previous Down The Vent game days have drawn participants from throughout southeast Michigan, with a few coming from as far as Indiana. Besides the opportunity to make new friends in a casual, fun atmosphere, players are drawn by the variety of games available and the desire to help sick children. “We all like the idea of helping out kids,” Matt says. “One nice thing is that all the donations stay local – the money we raise goes to the local children’s hospital in Flint.”
So why “Down The Vent”? Well, think of where your favorite Monopoly pieces, Scrabble tiles, and Clue tokens seemed to accidentally wind up when you were a kid.
The next Down The Vent game day happens Saturday, April 9 at Perry High School Library, 2555 W. Britton Road in Perry, MI. Doors open at 10:00 am and the games go on until midnight. A $10.00 minimum donation for adults 16 years and over, or $5.00 for 15 years and younger, get you in the door – and full access to 200 games to try. Those under 15 must be accompanied by a parent.
To register or for information, go to www.downthevent.com