A fun way to support charity

There are millions of gamers who enjoy playing Mario games, whether it's the NES classics or the latest titles on Wii and 3DS. The world-famous plumber is also the inspiration for Mario Marathon 5, a webcast taking place this Friday to raise money for the Child's Play charity.

This event has enjoyed success in its previous four outings, drawing impressive viewing figures for its live broadcast and raising a lot of money in the process. This year's live show, which will be available to view on www.mariomarathon.com, will once again have a variety of players taking on countless levels from Mario's many games, with more played once fundraising targets are hit. It all kicks off on 22nd June at 11am EDT, which is 3pm UK time. More details are in the press release below.

On Friday, June 22, gamers in Lafayette, Indiana will host the fifth annual Mario Marathon fundraiser for Child’s Play Charity. Since 2008, the group has raised over $242,000 for Child's Play. The charity provides games, books and toys to a network of over 70 children’s hospitals worldwide.

Mario Marathon is a multi-day charity drive broadcast live online through Twitch.TV. The event starts with a small group of gamers attempting to complete a list of levels from Nintendo’s popular series of Super Mario video games. Viewers of the show add levels to the players’ queue by making donations to Child’s Play. This continues until all of the levels are conquered or the donations cease to add to the queue before completion. The Mario Marathon has brought together 794,000 viewers from 139 countries on six continents since it’s inception. Throughout the show, viewers connect with the team through the event’s website and social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter and has featured celebrity call-ins, sing-a-longs, contests and raffles.

“The support for the Marathon and Child’s Play Charity continues to grow each year, which is motivation enough to keep it going,” says Brian Brinegar, Event Coordinator. “Year-round we receive messages from viewers, along with prize contributions for future Mario Marathons including games, original artwork, and thousands of dollars in donations.” With four days until the official start, donations from the event’s website has already contributed over $5,200. When asked what draws viewers to the event, Brinegar says, “Gamers share this common childhood experience playing Mario. The marathon lets us recreate that experience and leverage Child’s Play to share it with thousands of kids who are spending part of their childhood in a hospital.”

The Child's Play Charity (www.childsplaycharity.org) is a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in a network of hospitals worldwide. Since its inception in 2003, the charity has distributed over $7 million worth of toys, games, books, and cash. "We rely heavily on community run initiatives such as Mario Marathon." says Kristin Lindsay, with Child's Play, "These fundraising events represent our greatest strength: the generosity and determination of gamers."

Watch the event live on the web at www.mariomarathon.com beginning June 22 at 11 AM EDT.

[source mariomarathon.com]