Gaming event raises money for kids

GR8bit Live! gaming convention
GR8bit Live! gaming convention

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) Most kids love video games, but it’s not always easy for them to play if they’re in the hospital. That’s why there’s a special event coming up to raise money for kids at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

GR8bit Live! was founded in 2012 by Mark Lago to raise money for the hospital to update its gaming area for kids. The idea came about because one of Lago’s students had recently been in the hospital. Although his stay was pleasant, he said there weren’t quite enough games in the game room for everyone. So Lago took it upon himself and his band “Playing with Power,” to put on a charity concert with other video game music cover bands from across the state to raise money for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital to purchase new games and gaming equipment for the kids.

GR8bit Live! has turned into an annual event with support from the West Michigan community. This year’s event spans two days at two separate locations:

Friday, July 1, is at Schuler Books and Music on 28th Street in Grand Rapids from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will be a gaming-themed game show, a raffle, live video game music, vendors, free tabletop and video gaming, as well as a cosplay competition. The event is for all ages and is free to attend!

Saturday, July 2, is at Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. There will be six video game cover bands from around the country, the grand finals of a video game tournament on stage with the music played live, a raffle, and vendors. The event is only for those 18 and older. Tickets are $10.

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