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Clarksburg Students to Hold Gaming Fundraiser For Veterans
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
02:28AM / Friday, November 10, 2017
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Clarksburg teacher Michael Little and Grade 6 boys' group are hosting a tabletop gaming fundraiser on Saturday to benefit homeless veterans.

Stores and companies donated lots of books, gaming items and gift certificates for the raffle table. 
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Clarksburg Elementary students will host "Soldiers, Dice, & Dragons" this Veterans Day to raise awareness and money for local homeless veterans through Soldier On.
"Our big concern was homeless veterans and we wanted to make people aware of the large number of homeless veterans in Berkshire County," teacher and organizer Michael Little said. "We are trying to support our veterans and let them know we care about them and appreciate what they have sacrificed."

Little said the fundraiser is essentially a gaming convention during which a variety of classic role-playing tabletop games, trading card games and even some obscure games will be played.

"Like any convention, we will have different tables set up with different games ... children and adults come out and run the games," he said. "We bring board games, we bring role-playing games and we have a good time."

Little said he held a similar event in April that brought in 60 to 70 gamers throughout the day.

Little, who runs a gaming club after-school program, said tabletop gaming is new to a lot of kids who are usually more interested in video games. He added that once the kids start, they often prefer the games made out of cardboard and paper to their electronic counterparts.

"My fourth-graders, they get used to the idea that there is something besides video games so by the time they are sixth-graders they have played quite a bit and even teach me a thing or two," he said. "A lot of time people aren't exposed to a lot of these games."

The students agreed.

"You aren't staring at a screen and it is better for your eyes," Chandler Worthington said. "You have to use your imagination."

"You can actually see people that are right in front of you," Caiden Parker said. "It's not just pushing a button and killing things."

"I like Magic: The Gathering because it is a lot of fun and you can play with your friends," said Aidan Crofts, who Little noted was extraordinaire when it came to fundraising.

There will also be a raffle table and gaming stores and gaming companies who heeded the call and donated games, collectibles, trading cards and books.

"These guys just opened the door for us and they sent us some really nice things," Little said. "They all seem to be really on board with the project."

Little was especially excited about a giant coffee-table book from Goodman Games marking the early days of Dungeons & Dragons. He also has books signed by game creators.

Black Blade Publishing, Academy Games and others also donated products and stores such as Purple Dragon Games, Game King, Off the Wall Games and Where'd You Get That also sent in items for the raffle table.

Little said there will also be items on the table for those who may not be as interested in gaming such as gift cards from a variety of local businesses.
Admission to the event is a goodwill donation or the donation of items found here.

The school has already filled buckets with items and even raised more than $700 for Soldier On that will go toward helping the 42 homeless veterans in Berkshire County.

"Some of the veterans even come in to play with us and this will make a direct difference in our own community," he said. "We want to eliminate the problem." 
Students agreed.
"I think it is pretty cool because we get to raise money for a good cause," Austin Wisocki said. "And we get to play games."

"You get to hang out with your friends and play games and it's for a good cause," Brayden McKay said. "It is nice to give back."

The Grade Six Boys and Friends invite anyone interested in gaming, especially veterans, to try their skill on the tapletops. The games start at 10 a.m. and run until 4 p.m. in the school gym. 
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