The Blackfoot drama club game-a-thon

Members of the Blackfoot High School drama club spent 7 p.m. Friday night to 7 a.m. Saturday morning at their annual "game-a-thon" fund raiser. The students attempt to play games for all 12 hours of the event, straight through until morning. From left-to-right are Ady Wixom, Kelly Allen and Kallista Cushman, who brought a PS4 game console and a pile of games.Members of the Blackfoot High School drama club spent 7 p.m. Friday night to 7 a.m. Saturday morning at their annual "game-a-thon" fund raiser. The students attempt to play games for all 12 hours of the event, straight through until morning. From left-to-right are Kata Clawson on the game console, and playing cards, Jaymee Phillips, Reagan Dougal, Kate Espindola and Madison Ramey.
Staff Writer

The Blackfoot High School drama club ran a fundraising event on Friday evening. It started at 7 p.m. and was scheduled to end at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning.
The event was called a "game-a-thon." The students solicited potential donors to contribute a certain amount of money for every hour the students could stay awake. The amount per hour was up to the donors. During the event, the students stayed up for as long as they could while they attempted to play games for 12-hours straight.
"The games can be all sorts of things," explained the high school drama teacher, Sharon Hoge. "Some bring video games and computer games. Some have board games. Some play games we've learned in drama club. Some even read books. The point is to do so continuously, straight through until morning."
"Once we're set up in the new gymnasium," Hoge said, "we're secure and no one unauthorized can get in. We hire a security office to stay with us all night."
"I don't how much the students will raise this year," Hoge said. "Originally, the game-a-thon was supposed to be held in early March but got rescheduled after the shooting threat incident. It would have been at the beginning of the new trimester when the students didn't have a lot of homework or tests, but now they have more to do. I hope our attendance doesn't fall because of conflicts."
Last year the students raised over $700 and they raised $1,000 the year before. The game-a-thon is the main fundraising event for the school year. They money raised goes to supporting the drama club's productions and competitions. Those include a play; a musical; district and state drama competitions in the autumn; and the one-act play competition in the spring.
In one corner of the gymnasium, Ethan Murdoch was setting up an Xbox, a cot, pillow, several bottles of soda and a pile of snack food. "This is my third year doing the game-a-thon," he said. "I wouldn't miss this. It's too much fun."
The money that the students raise is split between drama club productions and class-sponsored productions. "It's hard," Hoge said. "Royalties to put on a play or musical keep going up every year but my revenue doesn't."
"People don't understand that it costs more than $5,000 in royalties for a musical that once played on Broadway," Hoge explained.
On the far side of the gymnasium, one student wandered over to a large PS3/4 set-up to ask his friends, Jacob Jenneiahn, Sebastian Rodriguez and Nicholas Hammond, when he should have his high-caffeine drink: in the middle of the game-a-thon or at the end so he can try to do things tomorrow?
"You want to do stuff tomorrow?" asked Hammond. "My dad isn't even going to try to wake me up. I'm sleeping all day."
Over 25 students were settling in for a busy evening of games and fun by 8 p.m.

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