Board games for children

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

HOXIE, AR (KAIT) - Put down the controller, pick up a deck of cards, and help Arkansas children.

Region 8 residents have a chance to do just that at the 1st  NEA Game Fest.

The event kicked off Friday afternoon and will go through Saturday.

Megan Heyl, coordinator of NEA Game Fest, said they hope to make this an annual event.

"We are having our first ever convention," Heyl said. "Run through NEA Gamers Guild. It is a board game, miniature gaming, role playing games, all kinds of tabletop gaming events. This will allow people from the community to come in and support the Children's Shelter and play a bunch of games."

Heyl said they wanted to help the Children's Shelter.

"We wanted to do this," Heyl said. "We wanted to do this as a charity event. So, the Children's Shelter was a logical choice for us. We knew the service center at Hoxie would be a good place. And the Children's Shelter was more than willing to help us organize all this. They've been a great help. And it's been a lot of fun. We've gotten amazing sponsorship support for this event. And then, all of your money that you pay for your badge to get into the building and attend to this event will go directly to the Children's Shelter. Everything here is already paid for."

Heyl said the Children's Shelter has a huge need.

"They house children from the entire state," Heyl said. "And I think they're latest numbers are over 1,200 children served since they opened their doors and just all of that is through donations and people supporting them. So, it's a constant need to support that organization."

Heyl said there are a lot of choices for participants.

"We have our board game library," Heyl said. "That has play and win games that will possibly let people win those games at the end of the convention. But then there's also just a large variety of games that you can play just because you would like to try those games. We have over 100 games in our board game library. We have about 50 play and wins."

And that's not all.

"We have a lot of miniature things going on," Heyl said. "We have a miniature paint and take going on right now. There's also a miniature painting contest tomorrow. So, if you have a pre-painted figure that you would like to bring in and submit, you can be a part of that contest in tomorrow's activities. We're having a guild ball tournament tomorrow. And then there's just gonna be miniature gaming throughout as well. And all of our events are listed on our websites."

Clinton Morris is from Bay and decided to participate in the event for an opportunity to do something different and help others at the same time.

"I've liked board games since I was little," Morris said. "Board games with my family and my dad growing up. And then, as I hit my adult years with my kids I like playing board games with them. I like getting away from electronics and being able to sit across the table from people and engaging. So, it's a lot different than playing online where people are anonymous. You actually get to see people and this is a really good thing to support the kids."

Morris said he was thrilled to learn the money was going to the shelter.

"I thought it was awesome," Morris said. "It's not only a great opportunity for people to donate money but also to come out and have a good time too and see where they're money is going."

NEA Game Fest is at the Hoxie Service Center located at 500 Southwest Lawrence Street.

Price is $15 for adults 16 years and older.

Kids ages 6 to 15 are only $5 and under 6 years old is free.

They can accept only cash or check at the door.

If you would like to make a donation, you can do so online or stop by the Hoxie Service Center.

There are also donation buckets at the door for those who want to just want to stop by.

They'll be gaming until midnight on Friday and will re-open at 9 a.m. Saturday, October 14th and stay open until midnight.

For more information, log onto their website.

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