August 2, 2017 Edition

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Josh (left) and Megan Greenwell participated in a game of 'Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure' at the July game day hosted at the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library by the guild.
TD Photo ~ Megan Heyl

NEA Game Fest slated to
benefit children's shelter

Aubree Hughart
TD Intern

The Northeast Arkansas Gamers Guild will host NEA Game Fest in Hoxie, Oct. 13-14, to benefit The Children's Shelter.

NEA Game Fest is a two-day convention featuring a variety of tabletop gaming events, including demos, tournaments and open play. Prizes will be given away throughout the event.

Sarah Brown, event co-organizer, said that this convention has been a long time in the making. "Hosting a local tabletop gaming convention is an idea that the NEA Gamers Guild has been exploring since its formation two and a half years ago," said Brown. "We're excited that we've found the perfect spot for starting this convention in Hoxie and are looking forward to providing two days of gaming to people in Northeast Arkansas and surrounding areas."

Brown noted that tabletop gaming is something she was raised around. Her family spent afternoons playing games together, and she still values spending time with others over tabletop games. She wants to bring this family-friendly atmosphere to the people of Northeast Arkansas, as well.

"We are excited to raise funds for The Children's Shelter while promoting family-friendly entertainment in the area," said Brown. "The Children's Shelter is the perfect charity partner for this event."

Event co-organizer Megan Heyl has been overwhelmed at the amount of local support the convention has received so far. "It wasn't a week after we started working with The Children's Shelter to plan this event that I started getting stopped by people in Lawrence County asking about the convention," she stated.

Heyl is excited to mesh her love for games with a local nonprofit she is passionate about. "Not only are we going to have an awesome time playing games," said Heyl, "but we are going to help spread awareness about all the shelter does while we do it."

The group has numerous dedicated volunteers within the NEA Gamers Guild who want to spread awareness about their hobby, as well as help benefit The Children's Shelter.

Heyl, and other members of the guild, hope to get others involved in the hobby of tabletop gaming through the event as well. "There are so many new, inventive board games coming out that really engage minds, promote interaction and give people's eyes a rest from the screen," said Heyl.

Shelter administrator Tonjia Miles is also looking forward to the event and the benefits it will have for The Children's Shelter. "We depend on fundraisers to be able to keep the shelter's doors open and serving children in need," said Miles. She is excited about this new type of fundraiser and hopes to see it succeed.

The convention will be held at the Kenneth Quarry Service Center in Hoxie, located at 500 SW Lawrence. Convention doors open Friday, Oct. 13, at 2 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 14, at 9 a.m. The convention will run until midnight both nights.

All money raised after expenses will go to benefit The Children's Shelter in Walnut Ridge. The shelter provides temporary housing for displaced children from across Northeast Arkansas.

Sponsorship opportunities are available to support this event and the shelter. To learn more, contact Megan Heyl at megan@neagamersguild.org or 870-215-3546.

Badges for the convention go on sale Aug. 15 at www.neagamefest.com. The first 100 adult badges sold will be $10 each. Badges sold after that will be $15 each. Children's badges, age six to 15, are available for $5 each. Children five and under are free.

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