If you think few things productive can come from playing board games all day, then you haven’t heard of The Gauntlet.
For the past five years, this board game tournament, held annually at Mox Boarding House in Bellevue, has turned local gamers into DIY philanthropists, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities that have included Treehouse, YouthCare, and Hopelink.
This year’s event was held on May 20, and it drew 80 participants from 20 local gaming companies — including Eastside-based Bungie, Lone Shark Games, Monolith Productions, Paizo, and Wizards of the Coast — who spent the six weeks leading up to the tournament raising money for Wellspring Family Services, the charitable organization selected this year by Mox Boarding House.
All those weeks of fundraising and a 10-hour day of marathon gaming netted just over $97,000 for the Seattle-based non-profit organization. This year’s winning team, Wizards of the Coast, became the Gauntlet’s first-ever two-time champion.
The Gauntlet has raised over $428,000 since its inaugural event.
“I’m just really excited to see how people have embraced this event,” said Lyla Ross, program manager for ENGAGE, Mox Boarding House’s charitable giving arm. “I hoped it would be a fun thing and that our friends would want to be a part of it. But it has really become a thing that people in our industry are interested in doing.”